Dave Bolland

Blackhawks get good news as Dave Bolland skates, “progressing at a different pace”

The Chicago Blackhawks got some great news this morning as they were preparing for their huge game against the Red Wings in Detroit today. While the Hawks were lacing ‘em up for their must-win game in Motown, Dave Bolland skated for the first time since March 9th back in Chicago. Forget games or practice, the Hawks’ center hasn’t even skated in the month since he suffered a concussion in Tampa Bay against the Lightning.

The progress surrounding the talented 2-ways center couldn’t come at a better time. If Chicago is able to sneak into the playoffs (still a rather large “if”), there’s no doubt they’d need his services if they want to compete against a team like the Canucks or Sharks. Concussions are always tough injuries to predict, but getting out on the ice is the first sign that a player is recovering. Apparently, his recovery has taken great strides over the last few days. From our friends over at CSN Chicago:

“Dave Bolland, who’s been out with a concussion, has “progressed at a different pace,” and could be skating today back in Chicago, coach Joel Quenneville said this morning. It’s welcome news for the Blackhawks, who have missed their gritty center since he was injured March 9 against Tampa Bay.

“It’s close. In fact, he could be on the ice today,” Quenneville said. “But he’s really progressed in the last couple of days.”

Again, the news couldn’t come at a better time for the Blackhawks and their fans. Bolland is one of those players a coach loves to have on his bench. Joel Quenneville likes to put Bolland against the opponent’s best lines—so whether they’re facing the Sedins in Vancouver or a Thornton/Heatley/Marleau line in San Jose, the Blackhawks take on a completely different look when Bolland is available to the team. As it stands now, the best two-way forward the Hawks have on their team is Jonathan Toews. Clearly, they’d rather put Toews and Patrick Kane on the ice in offensive situations without the responsibility of stopping the opponent’s best players, as well.

Around the organization, Dave Bolland was one of the most important players during last season’s Stanley Cup run. He was so important that guys like Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien, and Kris Versteeg were traded away because the team had already committed almost $17 million on a 5-year deal to him. He proved his worth in last year’s playoffs when he had 8 goals (16 points) in 22 playoff games against the opposition’s best players.

If Chicago can sneak back into the playoffs and Bolland can get back sooner rather than later, he’ll get a chance for an encore playoff performance.

PHT Morning Skate: It’s not like they robbed a bank

2 Comments

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley seems pretty chill about healthy-scratching Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau and Lance Bouma. That goes for Monahan and Gaudreau in particular, noting that they’re “great kids.”

Besides … it’s not like they robbed a bank. (NHL.com)

Uh oh, did Nazem Kadri make the throat-slashing gesture to Mark Giordano? See for yourself in the video above. (Puck Daddy)

What should the New York Islanders do with unrestricted free agent Kyle Okposo, who’s enjoying a productive contract year? (The Hockey News)

What a playoff berth would mean to the Florida Panthers. (Sportsnet)

Checking in with various teams as the trade deadline looms. (NHL Numbers)

On the Canucks using those Pavel Bure-era jerseys. (Greatest Hockey Legends)

Despite tough fight, Stars hand Wild their sixth straight loss

1 Comment

The Minnesota Wild put together the kind of effort that would beat a lot of NHL teams on Tuesday. Unfortunately for that beleaguered group, it wasn’t enough to edge the Dallas Stars.

Despite generating 40 shots on goal and generating 1-0 and 2-1 leads, the Wild lost to the Stars 4-3 in overtime. With that, they’ve lost six straight games.

(The view doesn’t get much prettier if you pull away a little further, either, as Minnesota’s only won once in the last month, going 1-9-2 in their last 12.)

Ultimately, the Stars’ big guns were too powerful. Tyler Seguin generated two assists and so did Jamie Benn, who set up John Klingberg‘s overtime game-winning goal.

Again, the effort sure seemed to be there for the Wild, even if they’re far beyond the point of accepting moral victories.

As frustrating as this must be, Minnesota’s not that far from a playoff spot. Still, it has to sting to see “Close, but not good enough” as a prevailing theme as of late.

Royal beating: Lucic, Kings crush Bruins 9-2

24 Comments

The Boston Bruins welcomed Milan Lucic back on Tuesday. Maybe they shouldn’t have extended such a warm welcome to the Los Angeles Kings overall, however.

You won’t see many games as lopsided as this one, at least in 2015-16, as the Kings walloped the Bruins by a humbling score of 9-2.

Lucic wasn’t just there, either, as he scored a goal and an assist in his quite triumphant return to Boston.

Tuukka Rask had a short night in Boston’s net, yet it wasn’t as if Jonas Gustavsson enjoyed his time. It was a pretty sound beating by all accounts.

This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.

Video: Evander Kane believes he won his fights vs. Alex Petrovic

22 Comments

The Florida Panthers are beating up the Buffalo Sabres where it counts – on the scoreboard – but Evander Kane was happy to highlight his perceived victories in a couple bouts.

Buffalo’s power forward fought Alex Petrovic twice on Tuesday, and Kane wasn’t shy about holding up a “2-0.”

You can watch the second fight above, and the first one below, via Hockey Fights by way of MSG:

This GIF might just say it all, really:

Update: Apparently they fought again moments after this post went up.

Probably safe to call it a rivalry between the two, right?

The Panthers ultimately won 7-4.