May 25, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Bryan Bickell (29) and Anaheim Ducks center Nate Thompson (44) fight for the puck during the first period in game five of the Western Conference Final of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
With the Chicago Blackhawks up against the wall in Game 6, the coaching staff is faced with a dilemma. The dilemma is what to do with Bryan Bickell? Everyone in the Blackhawks organization and fan base knows that Bickell underachieves during the regular season. When the playoffs come around, Bickell realizes his potential and becomes a playoff force.
That was before this season. Bickell used to be a player the Blackhawks could count on during the playoffs. He used to produce during the playoffs. In case everyone forgot, Bickell scored the first goal in the “two goals in 17 seconds” to tie up Game 6 of the 2012-13 Stanley Cup Final. Bickell might have peaked in 2012-13 playoffs with 9 goals and 8 assists. Last season Bickell regressed to 7 goals and 3 assists last season. Now Bickell has FALLEN OFF THE MAP. Bickell has ZERO goals and five assists.
Bickell has been worthless in these playoffs! Bickell has brought little value to the Blackhawks when he is on the ice. I believe I saw Bickell fall to the ice more than any other player last night. In Game 5 of the Western Conference finals this season, the Blackhawks had miraculous come back from two goals down with under two minutes to play in the third period. Bickell got the puck at the Ducks blue line and attempts a slap shot. The shot was blocked and did not get in “deep” in the Ducks zone. Bickell and the rest of his line then went for a change. Ryan Kesler then started a two on one break that ultimately lead to the game winner by Matt Beleskey. This was a bad change and the Blackhawks lost the game because of it.
Mike Milbury on the NBC postgame show blamed Bickell for the Game 5 loss, “This is on Bryan Bickell who hasn’t had a good playoffs. He slams it into the legs of the Ducks defender, what are you doing?” That is the question on everyone’s mind. Bickell what are you doing?
After all that overwhelming evidence, the Blackhawks still need to figure out what to do with Bickell. The answer is really SIMPLE in to me. The Blackhawks need to replace Bickell with some “fresh legs” . The Blackhawks need to turn to either Joakim Nordstrom or Kris Versteeg. It is sad that the Blackhawks former playoff hero might be benched for the awful Versteeg. There is no more waiting for the “playoff Bickell” to show up. It is time to bench thr 4 Million dollar man.