St. Louis Blues v Chicago Blackhawks

Bickell elevating his game in the playoffs


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.

Hey look: Flyers reel off three straight wins for first time in 2015-16

Sean Couturier
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When you’re talking about bright sides, most people believe that they boil down to the light at the end of the tunnel for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy a little success in the present while waiting for that bright future, though.

The Flyers are providing at least a burst of sunshine lately, as Tuesday’s 4-2 win against the Ottawa Senators gives them … (drum roll) their first three-game winning streak of this season.

Joy abounded.

Even in recent darker moments, Philly’s been pretty impressive on offense, so Flyers fans are likely relieved to see a relative offensive outburst.

Sure, it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns – Radko Gudas might have gotten himself into some trouble, for instance – yet this is still a nice sign of life for a team expected to finish in the draft lottery.

If that fails … hey, the future may require shades.

This own-goal captures the start of Dougie Hamilton’s Flames career

Dougie Hamilton
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Here’s an understatement: things haven’t gone very well for Dougie Hamilton early in his first season with the Calgary Flames.

(It must feel like the opposite of Tyler Seguin in Dallas for Boston Bruins fans, but feel free to disagree in the comments.)

You could look at Hamilton’s meager offensive stats and break down his disappointing work through a very of “fancy” and traditional metrics …

… Or you could just fire up a projector and show this own-goal on a loop.

Senators lose Michalek, Zibanejad to injuries vs. Flyers

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It remains to be seen if the Ottawa Senators can avoid losing against the Philadelphia Flyers tonight, but either way, it’s been a costly night.

The Senators saw two forwards leave the game with injuries, as Milan Michalek and Mika Zibanejad were banged up on Tuesday.

Michalek may have gotten hurt blocking a shot while a Radko Gudas hit on Zibanejad left the Senators forward with an upper-body injury.

Gudas may get a call from the league for his infractions.

Update: Michalek’s issue could be significant.

The Flyers ended up beating the Senators 4-2, so a tough night for Ottawa.

Patrick Kane gets so much time, extends streak to 20 games


In hockey terms, Patrick Kane was like a star basketball player left alone for an almost strange amount of time to score. Sometimes you miss that opportunity out of the sheer shock of getting that much time and space.

Devan Dubnyk wasn’t so lucky, however, as Kane beat him to score a 1-1 goal.

You can watch the whole sequence in the video above, including an absolutely fantastic play by Duncan Keith.

With that tally, Kane’s scoring streak is now at 20 games, leaving him one game behind Bobby Hull’s Chicago Blackhawks record.

PHT discusses Kane’s streak and his place among the all-time great runs in the clip below.