Chicago Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell was a prominent figure during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, taking on a key offensive role for a team that was able to win its second Stanley Cup championship in four seasons Monday night.
Bickell, 27, scored eight goals during the first three rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs -- one fewer than he had in 48 regular-season games. In the Western Conference Final, he scored goals in three consecutive games, then added a pair of assists in the clinching Game 5 win against the Los Angeles Kings.
Bickell was shut out through the first three games in the Stanley Cup Final, but he came through with two assists in Game 4 and added another in Chicago's 3-1 win in Game 5. When the Blackhawks needed him most in Game 6 on Monday, Bickell answered by scoring the tying goal with 1:16 remaining in regulation. Dave Bolland's goal 17 seconds later gave Chicago a 3-2 win.
He kept a player blog that appeared on NHL.com throughout the series against the Boston Bruins.
In his last entry, Bickell writes about the experience of winning the Stanley Cup on Monday at TD Garden:
BOSTON -- This is unbelievable. Words can't even describe what winning this Stanley Cup feels like.
I have to give credit to the Boston Bruins. They gave us everything we could handle, pushed us the way they did. But being down 2-1 with two minutes left, to get the equalizer yet and a couple of seconds later watch Dave Bolland also put it in the net, I mean it's just unbelievable.
I have my family here, my fiancé, sister, mom and dad, and that's so special to celebrate with them. But it's even more special to know that I'm going to get my name on the Stanley Cup now.
I was part of the team in 2010 and I got to celebrate on the ice in Philadelphia after we won Game 6 there, but I played only four games in the playoffs, none in the Final, and 16 in the regular season so I didn't get my name on the Cup. The circumstances were obviously different then, but to help this team win is an unbelievable feeling and it is so special to get my name on the Cup.
Man, it was a roller coaster. I don't think there has ever been a Stanley Cup Final like that played before, but we couldn't be happier to be a part of it.
To score the equalizer -- wow. That's about all I can say. Wow.
I had a good scoring streak going through the first three rounds, and good for the Bruins, they didn't let me get any chances to score or they stopped the ones that I did get. But getting that one Monday night with 76 seconds left to tie the game, like I wrote before, unbelievable.
It is a blur. I saw the puck come at me I shot it and I didn't even know where it went. It went in.
I know coach Joel Quenneville said I had a knee injury late in the Western Conference Final. Hey, there were times having that big Zdeno Chara on me that it didn't feel very good, but it's playoff hockey, it's the Stanley Cup Final, and you do whatever it takes to win. There were a lot of guys in this room that had bumps and bruises. We did whatever it took to win.
It hasn't sunk in yet, but I'm sure it will once we get back to Chicago and experience the euphoria there. I can't wait.