The Chicago Blackhawks have found themselves in familiar territory -- the Western Conference Semifinals.
After dispatching the Nashville Predators in six games with a 3-2 victory Saturday, the Hawks advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the third straight year and fifth in the last seven years.
The Blackhawks hold a 14-3 record when they have an opportunity to clinch a series since 2009.
Bryan Bickell, a 6'4, 223-pound left winger, has been a part of many of those games, logging 20 goals and 16 assists in 63 playoff games. Bickell has made a big impact for the Hawks, twice scoring in overtime and recording the second most points on the team with 17 (nine goals, eight assists) and was a plus-11 in 23 games of the 2013 Stanley Cup run.
In the 2013 offseason, he was rewarded for his play with a four-year, $16 million contract.
But for all he's done for the Hawks in the past postseasons, he doesn't have a goal this one. He has just two assists while shifting between the second line with right winger Patrick Kane and Brad Richards, and third line with right winger Patrick Sharp and Antoine Vermette.
It's no secret his best play comes in the playoffs, and now he'll face his favorite team to play against in the Wild.
He has eight goals and two assists in 12 regular-season games and seven goals and three assists in 11 playoff games over the last three seasons.
When push comes to shove and it's time to show he's worth his contract this series just might be the one he proves to be worth keeping on the payroll.