The hits just keep on coming for Bryan Bickell.
The big forward provided quite a spark for the Blackhawks and the packed house at the UC with a pair of monster hits Saturday, one on Joakim Andersson and the other a third-period smash into Niklas Kronwall that sent the Detroit defenseman to the bench for a while with an apparent hand injury.
“We want to get the crowd behind us, get the team into it, get us players into it,” Bickell said. “I think to be physical for me is important to get me in the game and get the team to show that we’re willing to do what it takes to get the win.”
Kronwall, who returned for one more shift before calling it a night, told reporters Sunday that he expects to be back in the lineup for Game 6.
“You take some and you deliver some,” Kronwall said. “That’s part of the game.”
In addition to smashing up Red Wings, Bickell also smashed up the goal cam when he opened the scoring at 14:08 of the first period.
“Hopefully I don’t get billed for it,” Bickell said with a grin.
It was the fourth goal of the playoffs for Bickell, who has 12 points in 25 career playoff games.
“It means a lot to help the team out in any way to win,” he said. “I feel playoff hockey is my kind of hockey — the banging, crashing, to help the team in any way.
“To get a goal here and there, it’s nice, but we’re just looking to get the wins.”
What a relief:
It’s tough on a coach to see his captain struggling on the ice.
Perhaps that’s why the sigh of relief that Joel Quenneville let out Saturday after Jonathan Toews scored his first goal of the playoffs was almost as big as the captain’s exhale.
“You see he had that one chance before that went in but doesn’t count, then it’s like, ‘OK, what do I need to do to score?’” Quenneville said. “But we still like the way he’s been playing, and obviously you could sense the relief when he did score.”
Now that the Jonathan Toews’ goal-scoring drought is over, can the problems on the power play be on the same track after the Hawks’ scored twice on the man advantage Saturday?
“I don’t know,” defenseman Duncan Keith said. “We’ve used a lot of different units and a lot of different strategies.
“We had some guys in position to shoot the puck. That’s what we were doing. I think when you get those shots, it creates stuff, lots of chances off of a shot.”
Making his points:
Patrick Kane earned his team-leading seventh assist of the postseason and has 9 points through 10 games. Kane, who had a game-high 7 shots on goal Saturday, ranks eighth on the Blackhawks’ leaderboard with 61 points (22 goals, 29 assists) in 61 career playoff games.
He said it:
“I just said, ‘That thing’s gross.’ He told me to get out of the way or I was going to get hit. I said ‘All right, I better get out of the way then.’”
— Duncan Keith on his conversation with the guy carrying a large octopus off the ice during Game 4 in Detroit.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.