Bickell fired up after being benched

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Bickell fired up after being benched

COLUMBUS, Ohio A healthy scratch. No player enjoys that status come game time. Bryan Bickell is no exception.

Bickell was scratched for the Blackhawks 3-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night, a move that broke up the checking line of he, Dave Bolland and Michael Frolik that had been together dating back to last spring.

The left wing had a tough go at training camp but was playing that gritty, physical game the Blackhawks want from him in early season games. But hes struggled as of late and on Tuesday he was out of the lineup.

It was a tough pill to swallow for Bickell, but hes using it for motivation.

I know the reasons why (I was scratched), said Bickell, who was back on the reworked checking line with Marcus Kruger and Frolik on Wednesday. But it definitely gets me fired up for the next game to prove that I belong in the lineup and he Joel Quenneville has no reason to take me out.

Bickell said hell remember those early games when he gets back into the lineup. And hell try to relax.

I think Ive been thinking too much and gripping the stick too tight, he said. Its just keeping it simple. Its just (about) playing my game, being physical and being in the corners. Thats what I needed to do to improve my game.

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Wake-up Call: Big Blackhawks deals on draft day; What to make of the Bulls rebuild?; Buehrle back in town; 'Up and down' Cubs

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Together again: Toews, Saad expect chemistry to return quickly

Together again: Toews, Saad expect chemistry to return quickly

Together again: Toews, Saad expect chemistry to return quickly

Brandon Saad talked to plenty of people after he was traded back to the Blackhawks. Some were now ex-teammates from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Others, soon-to-be-teammates again from the Blackhawks.

One of the first people he talked to on Friday? Jonathan Toews.

“He’s someone I talked to shortly after it happened. He’s a guy I’ve always kept in touch with, great friend,” Saad said. “To be reunited, getting that chance to play with him again, he’s an incredible player and his resume speaks for itself. I look forward to trying to rekindle that.”

The two didn’t lose touch the past two years. Now that they’ll be reunited on the ice, they hope they didn’t lose the chemistry either. Saad and Toews formed a great combination a few years ago, a steadiness that’s been missing from the top line, especially at left wing, ever since. With Saad’s return, however, the Blackhawks are looking to get that top line consistent again.

[MORE: Blackhawks trade back, select Henri Jokiharju at No. 29

Toews was at the NHL Draft on Friday night, announcing the Blackhawks’ first-round pick with Patrick Kane. The thought of getting Saad back on his left wing was appealing.

“Well there’s no doubt getting an old teammate, an old friend back, another guy who shared that same bond, friendship and having the experience of winning a Cup together with Saader. I guess there’s some reconciliation because you know what you’re getting,” Toews said. “You know what type of guy he is and how he’s going to fit into the locker room and what he’s going to bring.”

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said via conference call today that, while Toews and Saad had great chemistry the first time around, Saad could fit with others. It all depends on what works best.

“That’s up to Joel [Quenneville] on where he wants to use him,” Bowman said. “No doubt they had tremendous chemistry; he found a home on Jonathan’s left wing. But the one thing I’m trying to stress to everyone, even internally, is we don’t want to look backward and replicate some old formula. He’s had great success with Jonathan and if they go back to that, great.”

Toews and Saad found their niche together pretty quickly the first time around. It’s only been two years since Saad departed, so finding that chemistry again shouldn’t take long at all.

“I don’t think so,” Toews said of chemistry taking long to rekindle. “You play at that caliber you just worry about your own game. Go out there and have fun. be prepared, be ready to roll and it shouldn’t take long for things to happen out there.”