Daniel Carcillo a big hit with Blackhawks mates
By Tina Akouris email@example.com October 21, 2011 10:48PM
Daniel Carcillo (13) battles Boyd Gordon (15) as goalie Jason Labarbera looks on in a game against the Coyotes. | Matt York~AP
Updated: November 23, 2011 8:13AM
It’s not like Daniel Carcillo was unfamiliar with the Blackhawks. After all, Carcillo faced some of the current Hawks two years ago in the Stanley Cup finals when he was with the Philadelphia Flyers.
So when the Flyers decided last summer that Carcillo, 26, was expendable, he thought Chicago would be a great place for a fresh start.
Carcillo is playing on the Hawks’ second line alongside Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa. In four games, Carcillo has two assists and hopes to add more when the Hawks host the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night at the United Center.
“It’s not every day that you get a fresh start in a new organization,” Carcillo said. “The history, being an Original Six team, it’s pretty cool to be able to put on that jersey.
“The core players here were a big attraction, and they know how to win. I played against most of these guys in the finals, and they’re a tough team to play against. It lit a fire under my butt when another team doesn’t want to sign you.”
Last season with the Flyers, Carcillo was second on the team in penalty minutes with 127 in 57 regular-season games. It’s an image that Carcillo, whose Twitter handle is @CarBombBoom13, wants to change, and playing on the second line should help.
“I never fought in juniors, but to make it to this league, not everyone is going to make it on skill, and I realized that,” Carcillo said. “I play this game hard and with a lot of emotion, and that [ticks] a lot of people off. What would I rather be doing, sitting in the box for five minutes or playing with Kane and Hossa? It’s a pretty easy decision.”
Coming over from the Flyers, there could’ve been worries that Carcillo would have trouble fitting in. But the 6-foot left wing out of King City, Ontario, seemed to be the piece the Hawks were missing on that second line. The transition has been easy, especially for Kane.
‘‘He’s been awesome,’’ Kane said, ‘‘and guys have really been taking a liking to him, the way he acts around here and is a pretty funny guy. He gets along with everybody. When he goes on the ice and plays, you can really respect a guy like that. The first time I met him, we hit it off pretty well off the ice, and when you do those things off the ice, that makes chemistry even better.”
Once a bruiser, not always a bruiser. That kind of reputation can be hard to change.
“It takes a long time to turn those types of reputations [around],” Carcillo said. “But I don’t mind having it. When you have someone who can skate and can hit, and [an opposing player] knows they’re barreling down on them, it’s a big asset.”
NOTE: Coach Joel Quenneville said Hossa will play against the Avalanche despite sitting out the skate-around Friday afternoon.