Over the past few seasons, Chicago Blackhawks Bryan Bickell has demonstrated that he has the capability to be a dominant force in the NHL by using his physical strength and tantalizing wrist shot to make himself an important role-player on the Blackhawks roster. The only problem is that it seems like he only plays this way during the playoffs. During the 2013-2014 regular season, Bickell posted a measly fifteen points in 59 games. However, in the playoffs he had a total of 10 points in 19 – seven of which were goals.
Bickell has had some amazing moments as a member of the Blackhawks, including scoring nine goals and totaling eight assists when they won the Stanley Cup in 2013, but it is not reasonable to think that he can only “turn it on” during the postseason. He needs to find a way to stay consistent and produce during the regular season as well.
Throughout the past year, Bickell has mentioned that he tends to get away from doing what he does best, and that is being physical.
“My main strength is my physical game. I feel when I bring that it gets me more in the game, it gets the team more in the game.”
He needs to find a way to bring his mentality back to playing like he did in the 2012-2013 playoffs. He has to prove that he can be a reliable spark plug in the Hawks attack that can bring it every single night. Last year, when he was paired up with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, he tended to try to emulate their style of play by forcing situations that did not turn out to be good decisions.
“Playing with Toews and Kane, they have a lot of offensive ability, and you want to get them the puck. You see what they do on the ice, and you want to contribute to what they kind of do, but that gets away from my game. I need to play my strengths — the hitting, getting the puck, shooting the puck — and let those guys do their thing.”
If Bryan Bickell can get his mind focused on his physical play first, the offense will come naturally and the Hawks will be an all-around better team.
Photo Credit: ESPN