Saturday, May 4, 2013
Frolik finds magic touch in playoffs again
By Scott Powers
CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Michael Frolik knows all too well what it’s like to not have luck on his side, which is why he embraced the luck he received Friday like a long-lost relative.
Frolik was nearly as active offensively as any of the Blackhawks’ stars throughout the regular season. He was tied for fifth on the team with 98 shots on goal. But unlike those top-tier players, Frolik wasn’t as fortunate to finish his chances. He was tied for 12th with three goals and had the lowest shooting percentage (3.1) among players who had scored.
On Friday, that all changed for Frolik. While he might have found a post or a goaltender’s pad during the regular season, his shots finally found the inside of the net. He scored twice, both on rebounds, to help lift the Blackhawks to a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild in Game 2 of their first-round series.
“The first one was a pretty lucky bounce, and I just tried to go to the net,” Frolik, who had a goal in the first and second periods, said. “The puck came to me. I didn’t have much of those lucky bounces [during the regular season], so I’m glad I have it tonight. The second goal was a good play by [Duncan Keith] and he just put it back in there, and it came to me again and [I] just shot it.”
Frolik has followed a similar pattern for the Blackhawks the past three seasons, in which he’s struggled to score in the regular season and then come through in the postseason. He had three goals in 28 regular-season games in the 2010-11 season and then scored twice in seven playoff games. Last season, he had five goals in 63 regular-season games and then scored two goals in four playoff games. He now has six goals in 13 career playoff games.
Frolik couldn’t explain why he’s been able to find the net regularly in the playoffs and not in the regular season.
“It’s hard to say like that,” Frolik said. "I don’t really know what it is. I would be happy to have it in the season, too. But I just try not to think about it and just go there and play the game. I got a few lucky bounces tonight, and I’m glad they went in.
“Obviously, always when you score a few goals, the confidence goes a little higher. Hopefully, it’ll help me in the next few games and I can build on it.”
Frolik’s teammates were happy for him, too.
“That’s the third year in the playoffs he’s been able to step up and score key goals for us,” Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp said. “He’s a great athlete. He’s in great shape. He works hard, makes the most of his minutes. You can see the bench get excited when he puts those in.”