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Bickell: Quenneville’s ‘slap on the wrist’ sparked improvement

Phoenix Coyotes v Chicago Blackhawks

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 14: Bryan Bickell #29 of the Chicago Blackhawks moves to the puck against the Phoenix Coyotes at the United Center on November 14, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Coyotes 5-4 in a shootout. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Jonathan Daniel

Bryan Bickell’s developed a certain rep during his time in Chicago -- specifically, that of a guy that needs prodding to live up to his potential.

And this season has been no different.

Bickell was largely a non-factor through the first four games of the year so, prior to No. 5, ‘Hawks head coach Joel Quenneville gave the burly power forward a kick in the rear, so to speak, and Bickell responded with a goal, assist and six hits in Tuesday’s 4-0 drubbing of Philadelphia.

More, from CSN Chicago:

“That’s what I aim to do every game,” Bickell said of his Tuesday performance. “I think to be physical — I know the last handful of games weren’t what they wanted or what I wanted. I kind of got a slap on the wrist and said ‘wake up’ and for me to be physical... it’s definitely important to get me going. (Tuesday) was a step in the right direction.”

Throughout the Blackhawks’ first four games, Bickell had tallied just one assist, and the third line as a whole failed to do much in terms of production prior to Tuesday’s game.

Bickell said coach Joel Quenneville sat down with him prior to the Flyers’ arrival and told him things had to change.

“He just talks to me and knows I need to be better,” Bickell said.

The bigger story here might be how Bickell found instant chemistry on a line with Brad Richards and Brandon Saad. Amazingly, it’s Chicago’s third line -- Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa man the top unit while Andrew Shaw centers Kris Versteeg and Patrick Kane on the second -- and it could be a boon for Quenneville, who not only sparked Bickell but also found potential linemates for Richards, who’s still trying to find his groove in Chicago.