The crux of the conversation about the line change was this: Change nothing. Bryan Bickell, he of the gap between his teeth but few holes in his performance, was elevated to the Blackhawks' second group. It is a scorer's role, but coach Joel Quenneville told Bickell to be a role player. Finish checks. Go to the net. And good things will happen. "Don't get too cute, or too fancy," Bickell recalled Quenneville saying, prompting another question. There is cute and fancy in his game? "I don't think so," Bickell said. "But I'll take the greasy ones to spark the team and carry on and go home." The greasy ones line the future free agent's pockets, with the burly winger's deft postseason touch resulting in the go-ahead goal in a 4-3 Game 6 win Monday. It was a score that was the residue of more dirty work, and most critically, it allowed the Hawks to play confidently with a lead as they worked to force Game 7. Jonathan Toews charged to the net to start the sequence, creating chaos in front of Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard. Bickell took it from there, outmuscling a defender and then punching in a loose puck for his career-high fifth postseason score, breaking a 2-2 tie and charging up the Hawks bench. "He's a big body, he's a great skater, got a great shot and he just goes to the dirty areas," center Michal Handzus said. "That goal he scored, he just overpowered the defenseman and got the puck and put it in. Obviously it was big for us." Bickell continues to be big in every sense. Red Wings center Joakim Andersson joked Monday morning about the hit he absorbed from Bickell in Game 5, a blunt shoulder-to-chest detonation that had Andersson admitting he "lost my breath there for a couple seconds."
Bickell still has hot hand in postseason
Chicago Tribune | May 28