When the postseason started, few would have imagined that one of the guys carrying the Blackhawks to the cusp of the Stanley Cup finals would be Bryan Bickell.
"He's one of those guys that maybe flies under the radar," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville admitted.
But that's not the case anymore for the big guy who keeps adding to his legend. No longer is his locker visited only on occasion by the media; now he's surrounded by reporters after every game and practice.
Kind of wild, huh?
"I'm just having fun with it," Bickell said. "It's been a great playoffs for myself and I feel grateful to the team and most importantly, just happy that the team is winning."
Bickell entered Saturday's game against the Kings tied with Patrick Sharp for second in the league with 8 playoff goals. And there he was in Game 5 adding to his point total with a pair of assists, including one of the hard-working variety on what appeared to be a game-winner by Patrick Kane in the final minutes of regulation of a 4-3 Hawks win in double OT.
On the play, Bickell outworked Justin Williams behind the Kings net and fed it out front to Kane, who beat Jonathan Quick.
"He's got all the assets that could make him a top forward, power-wise," coach Joel Quenneville said. "He can hit, skate, shoot, he sees plays and is big at the net, physical. All the ingredients you want put together."
For Bickell, the key has been keeping in a routine and continuing the hard work.
"Just repeating in my head what works," he said. "If it's with Tazer and Hoss or Tazer and Kane, I have to go in front of the net. The puck's going to get there eventually either to give them a better opportunity to score or to give me an opportunity to score.
"I know I should've had a couple of more, but I'm happy for what's happened so far and I'm just trying to keep it up."