The Chicago Blackhawks leaned heavily on its big name players during the regular season, but a ragtag line of lesser-known players helped launch them into an improbable run to Game 7. Sure, Chicago’s biggest names made the biggest difference, but the line of Dave Bolland, Michael Frolik and Bryan Bickell scored some big points in this dramatic turnaround.
After a solid 37-point output during the 2010-11 season, Bickell has been a difference-maker in the team’s first round series against the Vancouver Canucks. He scored two goals and two assists for four points in five games, with a point in his last four.
Update: The Blackhawks announced that he will miss 6-8 weeks. Sami Salo’s errant skate blade appeared to cut his wrist in Game 2, but after missing Game 3, he played in Games 4-6 anyway. He won’t play in that penultimate game after undergoing surgery on two tendons in that wrist, though.
It’s unclear who will take his spot in the lineup. While it’s a tough loss for Bickell and the Blackhawks, Chicago has been awfully resilient in this series. A typical playoff series takes around two weeks, so barring an unexpectedly quick recovery, he’s probably done for the postseason whether they repeat as champions or not.
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day