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updated: 3/24/2013 6:56 PM

Hard work paying off for Blackhawks' Frolik

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  • Michael Frolik will be on the top line Monday night, subbing for the injured Marian Hossa, when the Blackhawks host the Kings.

      Michael Frolik will be on the top line Monday night, subbing for the injured Marian Hossa, when the Blackhawks host the Kings.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

 
 

As frustrated as Michael Frolik has been over his lack of production, the Blackhawks winger hasn't let it affect his work ethic.

Frolik still comes to work hard every day as a key penalty killer with partner Marcus Kruger and, in fact, is one of the hardest workers on the club, often staying long after practice trying to find his shot.

"For sure when you're not scoring it's in your head and it's a little bit frustrating," said Frolik, who scored his only goal of the season on opening day in Los Angeles. He has just 4 points in the Hawks' 28 games.

"I've had some chances, but they didn't go in," Frolik said. "You try to stay positive. I think the last couple games our line has played good, so hopefully it will turn around a little bit.

"I don't have much points, but I think my game has been there. The goals haven't gone in, but the team is playing great and I've got to be part of it."

Frolik will have a golden opportunity to find the score sheet Monday night when he starts the game against the Kings at the United Center, temporarily in Marian Hossa's spot at right wing on the Hawks' top line with Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad.

Hossa will miss his second straight game with a shoulder injury suffered last Monday at Colorado.

"It could be a good opportunity for me," Frolik said. "I just don't want to change anything, play the same way I did and don't try to make any special plays. Just play the game and see how it goes."

Hawks coach Joel Quenneville believes Frolik has earned the promotion and is eager to see if the winger can take advantage of the opportunity to skate with Toews.

"Fro has been playing well, and that line has been effective for us," Quenneville said. "This will give Fro an opportunity to play up a couple spots and we'll see how he does.

"I think he's been good. His play overall has been very consistent. He doesn't have the production to reflect how well he has been playing, but he has been effective on our penalty killing, and 5-on-5 that line on the last trip was very efficient in a lot of ways.

"They had a lot of offensive zone time. The finish is probably the one area where it would be nice if he was a little more patient and comfortable, and he's going to get some higher-quality opportunities."

Frolik never had many chances to kill penalties before this season, and now he has become a go-to guy for Quenneville.

"Right off the bat that formation of him and Krugs as a pair in the first and third rotation has worked out well," Quenneville said. "Everybody wants to play; everybody wants more high-quality stuff.

"There are guys who got ahead of him on the power play and those situations, but you can control what you can control, and I think he has done a nice job of taking pride and capturing that niche there.

"The 5-on-5 play he is bringing us is what has made us a better team. His preparation has been consistent and his approach has been good."

On a team with plenty of offensive stars, Frolik has found a way to be a key contributor through penalty killing.

"I think last year I was pretty hard on myself and I put too much pressure on me, and you think about it and it's in your head," Frolik said. "You're getting more ice time now (as a penalty killer) and you kind of feel you are part of the team, especially when it's going good."

•Follow Tim's hockey reports on Twitter @TimSassone and check out his Between the Circles blog at dailyherald.com.

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