The left wing had nine goals this regular season. He's scored eight this postseason. A physical force at 6-foot-4, 233 pounds, Bickell brings the muscle to the finesse that other front-line players on Chicago have. Will he match up with Milan Lucic? That will be one physical encounter if they do hook up. Expect lots of hard checking and plenty of bruises in what will be a physical encounter.
It's an all-Original Six final!
The Chicago Blackhawks' dramatic Game 5 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday set up an all-Original Six matchup for the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins. Here are 10 players to keep your eye on in the throwback series.
Bruins: Brad Marchand
Marchand brings a lot of what Bobby Clarke brought to the Flyers — a mean streak and a sneaky, sometimes evil style. Marchand is loved in Boston and hated everywhere else. He'll do his best to get under your skin and will usually accomplish that. Oh, and he can score, too. One member of the media called him the second dirtiest player in the league, behind the Penguins' Matt Cooke. All that does is endear him to a city that loves lunchpail players. He defines that.
Blackhawks: Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews
Try to split them and it is impossible. They are synonymous with success in Chicago, and this playoff season they are together in struggles. Toews (pictured, at right) and Kane (pictured, at left) were unstoppable in the Hawks' run to the Cup. This go-round not so much. However, Kane has found the magic touch, scoring in Game 4 against the Kings and racking up a hat trick in Game 5, including the seriers-winner in double OT. His secret? Seems like sushi. Kane joined Bryan Bickell for some Japanese dinner and suddenly is finding net.
Bruins: Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug
Krug would have been no more likely to be on this list at the start of the playoffs than Bobby Orr. Injuries took the Bruins defense apart, leading to rookies bolstering the backline that is always anchored by Zdeno Chara (pictured). Krug played in one regular-season game. One. He was forced into action against the New York Rangers and found the net over and over. Krug has four goals and two assists in nine games. The Hawks will test the Bruins' backline and Krug will have to continue to deliver.
Blackhawks: Patrick Sharp
This is one solid player. He had 11 goals and 11 assists in the Blackhawks' run to the Stanley Cup in 2010. He doesn't get the accolades of Toews or Kane, but Sharp is every bit as important. He scores, is ready to engage opponents and is an all-around stud. Makes it only correct that he was voted Chicago's Sexiest Athlete by Victoria's Secret in 2009. And he probably has the oddest good luck charm of all these players in the Final. How about a neighbor's dog that, um, relieves himself on the Sharps' lawn.
Bruins: Milan Lucic
The big, nasty forward is making up for a mediocre regular season. He's a force when he is on, and the switch has been flipped. Lucic will hit, he will score and he will intimidate. If it sounds like Cam Neely, it should. He's not in the same sphere as the former Bruins star but when he brings his best, the results are similar. Three goals and 10 assists don't tell the whole story.
Blackhawks: Corey Crawford
When the best goaltenders in the NHL come to mind, Crawford doesn't leap out. However, "The Crow" earned the Jennings Trophy — with Ray Emery — this season. He was a large part of the season-opening 24-game unbeaten streak and just out-gamed Jonathan Quick in a five-game series as the Hawks disposed of the Los Angeles Kings. What's a guy got to do to get a ton of respect? How about outplaying the zoned-in Tuukka Rask to get the Blackhawks another Cup.
Bruins: David Krejci
Breaking out big time, Krejci has become a star. He has benefited greatly from the presence and mentoring of Jaromir Jagr. Krejci has a league-leading 21 points in these playoffs. He's dazzled and spearheaded the Bruins' offense. He's a force, arguably the most dangerous player on the ice in the final.
Blackhawks: Duncan Keith
The Bruins have Chara and the Blackhawks have Keith, who is a strong two-way defenseman. He was suspended from Game 4 of the Kings' series for a retaliatory slash that cost Jeff Carter part of a tooth and 20 stitches. That said, Keith came back and scored in Game 5, driving a puck through Jonathan Quick from just inside the blue line. He's a leader and a force. Keith will see plenty of ice time — likely more than anyone else on Chicago's backline. He's that dependable and critical.
Bruins: Tuukka Rask
They say it takes a hot goalie to win the Cup. Well, Tuukka Rask isn't just hot. He's simply in a rare zone. Anyone who thought the Bruins would suffer sans Tim Thomas this season was mistaken. Rask has been stellar. And against the Penguins he was supreme. The Bruins' goaltender allowed two goals in four games (one of which went to double OT). That translates to a .985 save percentage and 0.44 goals against per game for the series. The Penguins, if you remember, have Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and a vaunted attack. Rask continues to play like this and it could be a long series for the opposition and a short one for the Bruins.