All you have to do is pay attention to the soap opera involving Viktor Stalberg to know that during these Stanley Cup playoffs unless you're a top player a spot in the lineup is anything but guaranteed.
No one knows that better than the Blackhawks forward Daniel Carcillo, who, after being a scratch for the first three games against Minnesota, was back in the lineup for the final pair of that series as well as the first two games against Detroit.
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Then he was replaced in the lineup Monday night by, you guessed it, Stalberg.
In Game 2 against the Wings, Carcillo was one of the few noticeable Hawks in an otherwise forgettable 4-1 loss at the United Center, leading the way with a team-high 7 hits.
"Just trying to provide energy," Carcillo said after that performance and before he knew what would be in store for him come Game 3. "A person in my position, you almost have to play the game perfectly and contribute anything you can to help the team win or else you're most likely not going to be in."
In what has become a familiar scenario, Carcillo again finds himself on the outside looking in, and who knows when (or if) he will return to the lineup.
That's enough to mess with one's mind, but not Carcillo's, thanks to some friends who helped him cope through his time away from the ice.
"I did some yoga and some work with some people who have helped me along the way, just some work on your spiritual life and to get some understanding as to why things happen and not get too down," said Carcillo, a plus-2 with an assist in four playoff games thus far.
"You have to have a belief in yourself, which I do. I know what I can do and I know what I can provide for this team. When you get in and you get that opportunity, you just have to seize that moment."
With two knee injuries over the past two seasons, Carcillo's ice time the past two seasons has been severely limited. He played in just 28 regular-season games last season and 23 this year.
"Health-wise I'm 100 percent, but not playing a full year it's tough coming in and out of the lineup trying to come back after 16 months off," he said.
And he admits when he returned from his injuries, he returned as a different guy.
"Yeah, I've definitely changed a lot off the ice," he said. "Early on when I came back it kind of affected the way I played, so you kind of have to find a balance between the stuff off the ice and how I need to play to be effective."
If his last game against Detroit is any indication, he has found that balance.
"Lately, it's kind of having that attitude you need to have in the playoffs -- that pushback, kind of in-your-face kind of attitude," he said. "You need to have that.
"The biggest thing is you need to have a belief in yourself and your abilities, because if you don't believe in yourself in the situation I find myself in, it would be tough."