BOSTON – Bryan Bickell thinks the Chicago Blackhawks have made life too relaxing for goalie Tuukka Rask.
“We haven’t given Rask too much of a hard time. He’s seeing first shots, and the ‘D’ are helping him clear the crease,” he said, hours before Game 4 on Wednesday.
“We need to take his eyes away.”
To do that, the Blackhawks will have to be something they weren’t in their Game 3 loss to the Boston Bruins, which is dangerous offensively.
To achieve that, Coach Joel Quenneville is expected to put Bickell back with two familiar faces: Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.
“Every series is different. Every matchup is different,” said Quenneville. “They've had some looks together over the course of the games. We look at production. Sometimes maybe we're looking to ignite. One line can get going. We don't really care who scores goals. If they can get hot, get on the board offensively, that's what we look for.
“But they're certainly capable of it. They exited the last series on a high note. Getting back together here, hopefully they can continue on."
Kane has 15 points in the postseason, while Bickell has 13. Toews has just nine, including one goal in 20 games, but has excelled on the defensive end of the ice.
Against the Bruins, the three players have totaled just a single assist, which came from Kane in Game 2. The trio hasn’t played together in three games, as Quenneville split them to balance the Blackhawks’ offense against the Bruins’ defense.
Should they be reunited in Game 4, Kane hopes they can recapture some of the magic they had against the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference Final.
“We had some success last series. You can look back at that, relate to it a little bit, take whatever we did well and use it against a team like this,” he said.
Bickell’s confident that when the Blackhawks get the offense cranking, it’ll be the Bruins that are scrambling to adjust.
“When we play our game, when we have our best four lines rolling, they have to adjust to us,” he said. “We’re not worried about matchups tonight. We’re just worried about playing with speed and playing our game.”