Daniel Carcillo is just itching to connect on a goal.
The Blackhawks left wing has come close a few times, including Wednesday night against the Anaheim Ducks, but figures hes just pressing too much right now.
Nevertheless hes looking forward to that first goal. OK, and even that first fight.
You cant buy one in the West anymore. My first year in Phoenix (with the Coyotes), it was every night, said Carcillo, whose been biding his time in that category. Obviously you dont want to fight when youre up unless someone takes liberties on a teammate. That hasnt happened. Its just little things I think about, just a way to chip in.
He has been chipping in. Its just that, so far, hes done it with his forecheck instead of his fists.
Carcillo has fit just fine on a line with Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa, a combination that balances Carcillos penchant for attracting opponents attention with his linemates thriving in the space that creates. He was there again on Wednesday, giving Kane enough space to send that highlight-reel pass to Hossa for a goal.
You see Kanes highlight a lot but Danny was driving the net and distracting the goalie and defenseman, coach Joel Quenneville said. I dont think hes that one-dimensional guy who just provides energy. He has skill, ability, and hell get better playing with those guys once hes more familiar with them.
Kane appreciates Carcillos work on the ice, if not his talking off it.
Sometimes you have to tune him out on the bench because he talks too much, Kane said with a laugh. Hes good for us because hes that personality on the ice; teams are more worried about him than just focusing on us two. So its nice to have that out there.
Its not a total surprise to see Carcillo among the top lines. In his first season with the Flyers he was with Mike Richards and Simon Gagn for a good chunk of games. And hes reveling in this opportunity.
I know I can play with those types of guys. I never wanted to be just a fourth-line kind of guy in this league, he said. Every games different; Q likes to shuffle lines, so if its not going one particular period itll get changed up. Its a particular game I play and if Im not playing it, its noticeable. So I just have to be ready every night.
The line most thought wouldnt last past a game or two is still doing just fine through nearly three weeks. Still, Carcillo admitted he was taken aback when he originally found out this assignment.
Its been a bit of a surprise, coming back from (a two-game) suspension and being thrown on that line. I didnt expect that, he said. But I know what my job is, whatever line I play on and especially with those guys: get them the puck and get on the forecheck. Theyre two of the best in the league, so I just have to play Xs and Os.
So for now, the potential KOs will take a backseat. Carcillo has behaved himself, avoiding pot-stirring incidents. Quenneville said he commends Carcillo on his early-season discipline and is happy with his work with Kane and Hossa.
Carcillo is happy with his opportunity.
This is a good situation, he said. I just wanted to come here and show what I can do. And I think Ive been doing pretty good.
Corey Crawford will start Friday night against the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Blackhawks will be looking for their first victory in Carolina since Jan. 14, 1998 (they won 4-1).