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Back in the doghouse? Blackhawks scratch Bickell

Chicago Blackhawks v Minnesota Wild

ST PAUL, MN - JANUARY 23: Bryan Bickell #29 of the Chicago Blackhawks looks on during the game against the Minnesota Wild on January 23, 2014 at Xcel Energy Center in St Paul, Minnesota. The Wild defeated the Blackhawks 2-1. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Hannah Foslien

It almost seems like old hat by now: Bryan Bickell is ice-cold during the regular season. The difference is that the Chicago Blackhawks are concerned enough to make him a healthy scratch against the New York Rangers tonight.

While one could argue that Bickell can be enough of a physical presence to make an impact without scoring, yet at some point, you have to produce. That simply hasn’t happened enough with the streaky 28-year-old.

Bickell hasn’t scored a point in his last five games. Going further, he only has a goal in his last 12 contests (mirroring the last slump he had when he seemed doghouse-bound earlier this season).

The Blackhawks are a deep team that can afford to sit a supporting cast player like Bickell, so this is probably more about message-sending than desperation. It’s likely this is a great way to get the power forward’s attention, but we shall see.