Chicago Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell has become a prominent figure during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, taking on a key offensive role for a team seeking to win its second championship in four seasons.
Bickell, 27, scored eight goals over the first three rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs -- one fewer than he had in 48 regular-season games. In the Western Conference Final, Bickell scored goals in three consecutive games, then added a pair of assists in the clinching Game 5 win over 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 on Wednesday when the Blackhawks defeated the Boston Bruins, 6-5, to tie the best-of-7 series 2-2.
He has been gracious enough to agree to keep a player blog that will appear on NHL.com throughout the series against Boston.
In his latest entry, Bickell writes about battling with Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara:
Let's start out with a funny story.
When I was playing for the Ottawa 67's, Zdeno Chara was playing for the Ottawa Senators. I took what we called co-op, which gave us school credits toward graduation for working outside of class. One time I did it at a construction site, another time at a sports store, but now I was getting credit for working with the Senators and it was my first real glimpse at Chara.
My job was basically to do things like laundry and fill up the water bottles, you know, things to help the team get ready for practice or clean up after practice. But to see Chara there, to see his work ethic and how physically strong he is, it was just amazing. His body fat is like 4 or 5 percent. He eats healthy and it pays off because he is a beast.