Chicago Blackhawks’ Bryan Bickell Proving Doubters Wrong in Playoffs
The oft-maligned Bickell has been one of Chicago’s best players against the St. Louis Blues thus far in the playoffs. He has an eye-popping 28 hits in just four postseason games, more than twice as many as any other Blackhawk. His deft tip-in goal in Game 4 on Wednesday night that tied the game may very well have saved Chicago’s season; without it, the Blackhawks likely head into Game 5 down 3-1 in the series with their hopes of repeating as Stanley Cup champions all but completely dashed.
Far too much was made of Bickell’s struggles during the 2013-14 regular season. He wore a knee brace for most of the season, playing through the effects of an injury that significantly limited his mobility and power. Bickell was also cursed by some of the worst luck any Chicago player has had in years; his PDO of 955 was unsustainably awful and made him appear to be playing a good deal worse than he actually was.
Chicago decided to keep Bickell in town at $4 million per season because he shows up in force come playoff time like few other players can. For all the vitriol thrown his way during the regular season, it’d be hard to find anyone complaining about his presence on the roster these days.