Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/03/13 at 09:13 AM ET
from Cal Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
When did Joel Quenneville first realize that Bryan Bickell could be this good?
“Five years ago when he was first called up,” the Chicago Blackhawks head coach said Sunday morning. “We played him with Toews and Kaner that year. There's ability there. You like his size, his speed. He can shoot and be physical.
“He's got all the elements that you look for in a power forward. Putting it all together has been a process.”
Well, that’s five years sooner than most of the hockey world.
To those less familiar with the Blackhawks’ process, Bickell might as well have emerged from the womb, fully grown, sometime during the last two weeks, when his 6-foot-4, 233-pound frame began raising welts on the Detroit Red Wings’ puck handlers in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, although that may have been the least surprising aspect of his game.
The fun part was that he played his way into a top-six role on one of hockey’s most talented scoring squads, doing what hardly anyone else -- on his team, or the Red Wings -- could do in a very hotly-contested, well-coached, positionally-demanding series: make an offensive impact.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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