Apr 22, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (35) makes a save on a shot from Chicago Blackhawks left wing Bryan Bickell (29) during the third overtime period in game four of the first round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center. Chicago won 3-2 in the third overtime. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
The Anaheim Ducks pose a different kind of threat to the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks have not faced anyone similar to the Ducks in these playoffs. This will be the first time the Blackhawks and Ducks have squared off in the playoffs. This is the first time since 2007 the Ducks have made the conference finals. The Blackhawks appear to be a regular in the conference finals. They have made the conference finals five of the last seven years.
This series will feature a contract in team styles. The Blackhawks are smaller, very fast, and great on offense. While the Ducks are a big physical team with a lot of offensive firepower.The Ducks have the dynamic duo of Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf leading their offensive charge. Perry has 7 goals and 8 assists, while Getzlaf has 2 goals and 10 assists. Not be overlooked is former Vancouver Canucks Ryan Kesler with 4 goals and 5 assists. With Perry at 6-3, Getzlaf at 6-4 and Kesler 6-2, The Ducks appear to have the SIZE advantage in this series. The Blackhawks need their big offensive forward to show up in this series.
The Blackhawks BIG offensive forward is Bryan Bickell. In case you forgot Bickell is also 6-4 and leads the Blackhawks in hits these playoffs. However Bickell needs to rediscover his offensive magic that he has had in the previous playoff runs. Bickell leads the Blackhawks in hit during this playoff run but trails in GOALS. Bickell has ZERO GOALS and only four assists. That is a far cry from his magical 2012-13 playoffs. Bickell had 9 goals and 8 assists in 2012-13. He scored the game tying goal against Boston in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. In last season’s playoffs, Bickell had 7 goals and 3 assists for 10 points.
With this series figuring to be a shootout, The Blackhawks are going to need to score early and often against these Ducks. Don’t tell the Ducks this series will be shootout. The Ducks have only lost ONE game in two rounds. Their goalie, Frederik Andersen has all the confidence in the world. Andersen is 8-1 with 1.96 goals against average and .925 save percentage. Is Andersen numbers inflated by facing weaker opponents? This series will show us the answer.
This series figures to be a SLUGFEST with both offensively stacked teams squaring off. Even if Andersen’s number are inflated by playing the hapless Jets and Flames. The Blackhawks are going to need someone else to help with the offensive load.
So would the real Bryan Bickell please stand up??? The Blackhawks do not need regular season Bickell, The Blackhawks need the offensive threat. They need PLAYOFF HERO BICKELL!
The Blackhawks might in be in a pickle, they need Bryan Bickell.