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Bickell elevating his game in the playoffs

Apr 24, 2014, 9:01 AM EDT

St. Louis Blues v Chicago Blackhawks Getty Images

Chicago Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell started a four-year, $12 million contract this season. The hope was that the 28-year-old would elevate his game after a solid 2013 campaign and a great performance in the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup-winning run.

Instead, Bickell recorded just 15 points in 59 games in 2013-14, averaged 11:21 minutes per contest, and was listed as a healthy scratch more than once.

“We need more,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said of Bickell back in January.

They’ve gotten more out of him since the playoffs started. He’s been logging 16:14 minutes per game and scored the game-tying goal in Chicago’s 4-3 overtime win last night.

“He … was gunning for the playoffs. He was picking up his game. I think he likes the big stage,” Quenneville speculated, per the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Potash.

Bickell is one of the Blackhawks’ key complimentary players, which is why they were willing to risk overpaying him rather than let him walk as an unrestricted free agent. The Blackhawks need all the help they can get in their tight series against the Blues, so naturally it’s important to them for Bickell to continue to show that he has put his rough regular season in the rear view mirror.

  1. lowenni - Apr 24, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    Evaluating his game or elevating his game…?

  2. hockeyornothing - Apr 24, 2014 at 9:17 AM

    Way to go Bickell! You’re always there when we need ‘ya!

  3. comeonnowguys - Apr 24, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    This is why I wasn’t freaking out when he wasn’t producing during the season. His perfect role for this team begins with Game 83.

  4. maalea - Apr 24, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    Some payers are built for playoff hockey. His game is suited perfectly for this time of year.

  5. sjsharks66 - Apr 24, 2014 at 10:23 AM

    Really elevated with that knee that some how went unnoticed. But yeah, Bickell is a star when it comes to the playoffs. Who is really surprised that he is playing well?

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 24, 2014 at 10:43 AM

      What? You mean the one he was penalized for? Apparently, they’re only suspending people named Matt Cooke for those.

  6. kcprof926 - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    Speaking of leg whips how about that beauty LaPierre put on Sharp last night? So dirty

  7. sjsharks66 - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    kcprof926 did not see the Lappy one but I would not put it past him. Didn’t he board a Chicago player last game as well? Seems like they are letting a lot go unless you have a hefty suspension history. Which, I am all for the suspension of Cooke. They just need to be consistent.

    • fightingwild - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:55 AM

      The department of player safety is a sad joke. It is truly pathetic how badly they perform. If this was any other business many people would be fired for the type of favoritism & old buddy crap that goes on. I wish it was the same for anyone, 10 year vet to 10 day rookie. Star to goon. God forbid they do that.

  8. thesportsjudge - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    X x 1=X

  9. loydchristmas90 - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    Why aren’t the blues fans in here yappin now?..maybe they are worried.

  10. 101starmymedic - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    Not even a Hawks fan but this guy elevates his game every playoff season. He really is a phenomenal post-season player year after year.

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