Unleashed after being sidelined for 15 games with a knee injury, Daniel Carcillo has been hitting everything in sight.
In three games since returning, the veteran Blackhawks winger has 13 hits, and one thing is certain: The NHL has kept a close eye on every one of them.
With Carcillo's history of nine fines or suspensions, he realizes the league is scrutinizing his play closely as it tries to cut down on illegal hits.
"I definitely don't have much room out there, that's for sure," Carcillo said of being in NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan's crosshairs. "But I'm not going to look at it negatively. I kind of like the unpredictability that I have established. Because if (opponents) are worrying about me running around, they're not worrying about the other two guys on (my line). It's an advantage for us."
Added coach Joel Quenneville: "Certain guys with reputations or history, their leashes are definitely shorter than other players. He's probably one of those players that knows he's being watched."
Carcillo said he realizes he needs to alter his game but plans to do so without compromising his agitator style.
"You have to recognize early on when a guy is going to be vulnerable and you just have to stop," Carcillo said. "That's what the game has come to. It's a game of reaction, and sometimes you get caught in the middle and you're not able to stop. For the most part, everyone is pretty smart. Everyone knows when someone is in a bad spot and when someone isn't."
Getting closer: The Hawks might have a roster decision to make soon. A source said defenseman Steve Montador is close to returning.
The veteran has not played in 2013 because of symptoms related to a concussion but has been skating hard for nearly two weeks and has taken some contact without any reoccurrence of symptoms. - See more at: http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/hockey/blackhawks/ct-spt-0227-bits-blackhawks-chicago--20130227,0,2584222.story#sthash.mf2rbaY4.dpuf
NHL keeping close eye on Carcillo
Chicago Tribune | Feb 27