Daniel Carcillo can't wait for his chance.
''That's the reason we play, is to play in big games like this,'' the Blackhawks winger said. ''This is my type of hockey. Everybody wants to play. You don't want to be sitting and watching. It would mean a lot to get a chance.''
After the Blackhawks took a beating in Game 3 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series with the Minnesota Wild, coach Joel Quenneville contemplated turning to the energetic Carcillo, a noted agitator, to help turn up the intensity of his team's effort. Carcillo was a healthy scratch in the first two games of the series.
''He's one of those guys that brings energy to your team, and enthusiasm,'' Quenneville said. ''You want to make sure you're smart in how you approach games, but I think he's gotta play the way that makes him successful and that's playing hard and bringing that unpredictability.''
It's the unpredictability that also makes Carcillo a bit of a risk. Carcillo has 69 penalty minutes in 33 career playoff games. But against the Wild -- which was 0-for-9 on the power play in the first three games of the series -- it's more of a calculated risk.
Carcillo understands the fine line he treads every time he steps on the ice in the playoffs.
''It's something you learn over time,'' said the 6-0, 203-pound Carcillo, who has five goals and six assists and is a plus-six in the playoffs in his career. ''You don't want to hurt the team, but you need to play with emotion, you need to play on that line, and if you don't, then a guy like me isn't going to be effective.
''[I] struggled with it a little bit this year, but I've been down this road and I know what to do if I get an opportunity.''
Carcillo has been in this situation before. In 2010 with the Philadelphia Flyers in the Stanley Cup Finals against the Blackhawks, he was inserted into the lineup in Game 2 when the Flyers wanted a similar boost in physical play after losing a 6-5 shootout in Game 1.
Carcillo was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and his biggest hit was an inadvertent leveling of teammate Jeff Carter when Hawks target Tomas Kopecky side-stepped both Carcillo and Carter. But Carcillo still was credited with giving the Flyers the intensity they were looking for in a 2-1 loss at the United Center that went down to the wire.
Carcillo played in Game 3 of that Cup Finals -- a Flyers' victory -- but was a healthy scratch for the final three games of the series.
He has had quantifiable success in the postseason, though. In Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the New Jersey Devils in 2010, he scored in overtime and also had an assist in the Flyers' 3-2 victory that gave them a 2-1 series lead. Carcillo also scored a goal -- and received a game misconduct -- in the Flyers 5-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres in Game 7 of their first-round series in 2011.
''Playoff hockey is physical, hard hockey. Hard checking,'' Carcillo said. ''You've got to win your one-on-one battles. It just means so much more this time of year. I relish these types of games.''