Mar 14, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Bryan Bickell (29) with the puck during the second period against the Nashville Predators at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
The biggest takeaway from last night of course was the unfortunate injury to Patrick Kane when he got his leg caught underneath Brendan Morrow. Kane is a talent unmatched by anyone else on the roster and probably the NHL. So of course losing Kane is the biggest takeaway from Wednesday night’s rivalry night contest against the St. Louis Blues.
My second biggest takeaway was the Bryan Bickell looked to be back to playing his game that he seemed to have left in Boston at the Stanley Cup Finals. Bickell doesn’t need to run at people but last night playing against the Blues he was getting checked and for what seems like the entire season was fully engaged and hitting back. Bickell along with Brent Seabrook are really the only two bigger guys on the Hawks that can truly throw their weight around and Bickell is the only forward with offensive skill that can accomplish this on a nightly basis.
Not only was Bickell throwing his body around he was getting closer to the spot which he made all of his much talked about $4 million a season and that is in front of the net. Sure he wasn’t camped out there like Andrew Shaw was but he had the same aggressive play that rewarded him with goal after goal in the playoffs.
The words that rang the loudest had to come from Edzo while doing the NBCSN telecast last night. Eddie when asked what Joel Quenneville would do with his lineup with Kane out for the game, he quickly stated he would be double shifting Bryan Bickell. If I hadn’t been watching the telecast at that moment my head might have snapped from hearing that declaration. For the first time all year Bickell wasn’t a punch line but a valuable asset.
Bickell is not Toews, Kane or Hossa but he was an extremely important team member last year and almost like Patrick Sharp’s injury riddled 2013 regular season, no one will remember the struggle during the regular season if Bickell turns the corner and becomes the player he was during the 2013 playoffs.
A fully engaged Bickell is a great thing with the playoffs on the horizon!
What was your biggest takeaway from the St. Louis win?