Chicago Blackhawks: Michael Leighton

Bickell returning to Hawks lineup vs. Wild

April, 2, 2014
Apr 2
3:59
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Not all news was bad Wednesday for the Chicago Blackhawks, who will add forward Bryan Bickell back to the lineup.

Bickell
Bickell is expected to play against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday after missing the past six games with an upper-body injury.

"[Bickell's] ready to go," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said after practice on Wednesday. "He was flying there at practice. He's been skating really well. He's been skating going into that [recent road] trip. We thought maybe he could have played on that trip. But certainly you can use his size and his speed and his pace and some physicality to his game, which is noticeable. And I thought he was definitely playing his best hockey going into that injury."

Blackhawks forwards Patrick Sharp and Michal Handzus and defensemen Johnny Oduya and Michal Rozsival did not practice on Wednesday. Rozsival said he would not play on Thursday, but he could return against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday. Quenneville said the other three players had maintenance days and are fine.

Bickell's play has fluctuated since returning from a knee injury in December, but Quenneville is happier with him as of late. Quenneville was giving Bickell an average of about 12 minutes of ice time in his past five games. He played 14:18 against the St. Louis Blues in the game he suffered his injury on March 19.

Bickell is excited to play again and get into form before the playoffs begin.

"It's hard for me getting ready before this stretch, these six games, going into playoffs and get back and playing the hockey I know," Bickell said. "It was frustrating sitting out. I know that little injury I had to get the rest. I think those last three days helped it for tomorrow."

Bickell has 10 goals, two assists and a minus-seven rating in 53 games this season. He was one of the Blackhawks' top players in the playoffs last season with nine goals and eight assists during the team's Stanley Cup run.

Laviolette won't reveal goalie decision

June, 7, 2010
6/07/10
11:32
AM CT
By Associated Press
ESPNChicago.com
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PHILADELPHIA -- Flyers coach Peter Laviolette has decided which goalie will start Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals.

He just won't say if it's Michael Leighton or Brian Boucher.

Read the full story.

Game 2 could come down to power play

May, 31, 2010
5/31/10
1:51
PM CT
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com
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videoCHICAGO -- Peter Laviolette's decision to stick with Michael Leighton for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup fnals could turn out to be a critical one.

Yes, the Philadelphia Flyers can always go to Brian Boucher back in Philly if they are down 2-0, but that seems like a move that will come a game late. Let's face it, if the Chicago Blackhawks win on Monday night, is any goalie switch going to make the difference for the series? No, the move should have been after Game 1.

[+] EnlargeMichael Leighton
Bruce Bennett/Getty ImagesThe Flyers' Michael Leighton might need longer than 48 hours to recover from his performance in Game 1.
It's not just that Leighton gave up five goals, it's that he looked lost out there. It would be easy for Philadelphia to hope for a rebound game, but Game 1 was one of those that he might need more than 48 hours to recover from. Then again, if both teams tighten up as they claim, Game 2 might not come down to goaltending.

It could come down to the Hawks' power play. Coach Joel Quenneville likes to say every game is different, and you have to imagine the Hawks are not going to get six five-on-five (or four-on-five) goals. But you also can't imagine another power play-less night for Chicago. Following a penalty-free game by the San Jose Sharks in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals, the Hawks were only called for one minor -- until the very end of the game -- and earned four power-play attempts themselves in Game 2. You have to imagine Game 2 here will end in a similiar result. It's just how the NHL works.

Add to that notion that agitator Daniel Carcillo will play for the Flyers, and it almost surely means power plays are coming. Carcillo, despite not dressing for every game, leads both teams in postseason penalty minutes with 30.

Andrew Ladd will miss his second consecutive game which allows Quenneville to avoid the tough decision of who comes out of the lineup for him, but that issue will present itself soon enough. Ladd skated before the Hawks practice on Monday morning and is closer to returning.

The Hawks' top line is committed to playing better -- they can't play much worse -- but so are the trio that make up the Flyers' top guns. It will be a shock to see Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Dustin Byfuglien along with and Mike Richards as minus players again.

"I was maybe a little bit overexcited for the situation," Kane said on Monday about his Game 1 performance. "I think you anticipate too much. So sometimes you go out there, you try to do too much, and it all backfires on you. I know I even said before the game that you can't do that, but it's one of those things you have to calm down and try to play our regular game."

Carcillo will take the place of James van Riemsdykwhile defenseman Ryan Parent, who played one shift in Game 1, will sit for Oskars Bartulis. The Hawks will dress the same lineup they used in Game 1.

  • The Blackhawks are encouraging fans to arrive earlier than usual for Monday's Game 2 because of the rainy weather and traffic. Gates to the United Center open at 5 p.m.
  • Flyers not saying if Leighton will start

    May, 30, 2010
    5/30/10
    3:47
    PM CT
    By ESPN News Services
    ESPNChicago.com
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    Flyers coach Peter Laviolette is staying mum on whether Michael Leighton or Brian Boucher will start in net for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals against the Chicago Blackhawks Monday.

    "We will keep everything internally with regards to lineups, lineup changes, lines, goaltenders, anything that's internal we'll probably keep it internal," Laviolette said.

    Read the entire story.

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    TEAM LEADERS

    POINTS
    Patrick Sharp
    PTS GOALS AST +/-
    78 34 44 13
    OTHER LEADERS
    GoalsP. Sharp 34
    AssistsD. Keith 55
    +/-M. Hossa 28
    GAAC. Crawford 2.26