ST. PAUL, Minn. – Daniel Carcillo has waited and waited to break back into the Chicago Blackhawks’ lineup for a little playoff hockey. It looks like he may get that opportunity tonight.
Coach Joel Quenneville said Carcillo “could” play tonight –- and “could” usually means “will” -– when the Blackhawks play the Minnesota Wild in Game 4 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series tonight at Xcel Energy Center. If so, it will be Carcillo’s first postseason game in a Blackhawks uniform.
The Blackhawks need some kick, some venom after being pushed around by the Wild in Game 3 on Sunday afternoon. Carcillo hopes to provide that.
“It would mean a lot to get a chance. And when you get a chance you just want to help the team anyway you can: bring some energy and hopefully give them a lift,” Carcillo said following today’s morning skate. “Playoff hockey is physical, hard hockey and hard checking. You have to win your 1-on-1 battles. You have to play every shift. It just means so much more this time of year. I relish these type of games, so hopefully I get an opportunity.”
Brandon Bollig, who played in the first three games, was not in the room around the time it closed today. So it’s likely he’ll draw out and Carcillo will draw in to that fourth-line spot.
Quenneville said the Blackhawks need Carcillo to be Carcillo.
“I think he’s one of those guys who brings energy and enthusiasm to your team,” he said. “You have to be smart how you approach games, but he has to play the way that makes him successful, and that’s playing hard and bringing that unpredictability.”
Carcillo has struggled to get into much of a rhythm this season, as well as the lineup. His knee injury in January, team depth and the emergence of others has left Carcillo on the outside more than in this season. But if he gets the opportunity tonight, he wants to run with it – and make sure he plays on the right side of that fine line.
“You just know you don’t want to hurt the team. But you need to play with emotion and if I don’t, a guy like me is not going to be effective,” he said. “I’ve been down this road, and I know what to do if I get this opportunity.”