Carcillo motivated by healthy scratch

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Daniel Carcillo understands why he’ll be a healthy scratch Sunday and what he has to do to make sure that doesn't happen in the future.

Carcillo will be replaced by forward Joakim Nordstrom against the Dallas Stars on Sunday. Carcillo has been in the Blackhawks’ lineup for 21 consecutive games.

“I don’t want to make any excuses,” Carcillo said after the team’s morning skate on Sunday. “I know I haven’t been playing the way I can lately. I just have to do what I know what needs to get done to get back to it. I just have to do it.

“There’s great young players in this organization. They draft really well. You got to be ready. When you’re in the lineup, you have to do something to stay there. You have to play well enough to stay in the lineup. The last game and a few games before that haven’t been good enough for me. I got to smarten up.”

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville has been sharing that same message with Carcillo by cutting his ice time the last few weeks. Carcillo hasn’t played more than 7:41 in the last four games. He played 5:03 against the Nashville Predators on Dec. 29 and a season-low 3:38 against the Washington Capitals on Thursday.

Quenneville said Carcillo lacked the pace he had earlier in the season. Carcillo didn’t disagree.

“Pace means speed, moving your feet and getting pucks quickly before other guys win battles,” Carcillo said. “I’ve tailed off here lately, and I knew it. I just got to get my game back.”

Carcillo said he hasn’t been held back by anything physical, but it was more part of going through a full season.

“No, it’s nothing physical,” Carcillo said. “It’s nothing like that. It’s something you look at you go through ebbs and flows through the year. This is a bit of lower point. I just need to pick up my game. It’s pretty simple.

“You want to play. But you know you’re not going to play unless he sees you’re firing all cylinders. I just have to get back to it.”

Quenneville spoke about how ice time was at a premium for all the Blackhawks.

“I think we’re in a competitive business,” Quenneville said. “You got to find a way to stay in the lineup and push one another. We’ve had a lot of decisions this year with guys sitting out. It’s never a good situation when it’s you. But you know you got to treat it like you got to do everything you can to get back into the lineup.”