Bryan Bickell’s back in the press box and, apparently, back in his coach’s doghouse as well.
Bickell was dropped from the Chicago lineup for the second time in three games on Wednesday, as head coach Joel Quenneville made the burly power forward a healthy scratch for tonight’s game against the Canucks in Vancouver.
“You try on a regular basis and visiting with him in practice or on the bench during games or between games,” Quenneville told the Chicago Sun-Times. “In the situation where he didn’t play the other day, last night was O.K.
“But we need more.”
Bickell was dropped from the lineup against Winnipeg on Sunday, replaced by defenseman Mike Kostka — who was playing his first-ever NHL game at forward. Bickell drew back in for last night’s 5-4 OT loss to Calgary, but wasn’t especially effective. In getting just over 10 minutes of play he finished minus-1 with two hits and two shots on goal.
“It was frustrating but, the way my game’s been going, I feel like I deserved to sit out,” Bickell said, per CSN Chicago. “[Coach Joel Quenneville] wants to get me angry and mad on the ice and bring the physical game.
“I need to do more and get myself more into the game.”
Bickell, who signed a four-year, $16 million extension after last year’s stellar Stanley Cup run, has struggled mightily under increased expectations this season. Missing 14 games with a knee injury didn’t help things but, even when healthy, Bickell has yet to find the form that saw him score nine goals and 17 points in 23 games last postseason, emerging as a key power forward en route to Chicago’s second Cup in four years.
The 27-year-old was minus-6 in 11 games prior to the Winnipeg contest, scoring just one goal.