While you may not have noticed his importance to the Chicago lineup in the past, Dave Bolland’s absence has been a killer for Chicago. Without Bolland to work as the second line center or on their penalty kill, the Blackhawks have been at a disadvantage both 5-on-5 and without their shorthanded threat.
Bolland’s been out of action after suffering a concussion in early March from Tampa Bay’s Pavel Kubina but now it’s looking like he’ll be ready to go tomorrow night for Game 4 against Vancouver. With the Blackhawks’ backs against the wall on the brink of being swept out of the playoffs, Bolland will be hoping to make his presence felt against the Canucks.
NHL.com’s Dan Rosen gets the story from Bolland.
“I’m progressing,” Bolland told NHL.com after Chicago’s morning skate on Sunday. “Things are going good. Now it’s just keeping it on a baseline, keeping it straight and making sure there’s no other symptoms — making sure nothing is coming back. You’re going to have your ups and downs, but I still have to be positive, come to the rink and do everything I can to come back. Everything for me is staying positive.”
Coach Joel Quenneville seemed more positive about how Bolland’s doing as he was close to playing in Game 3. With the team being on the precipice of elimination, getting a little extra jump and some added help in the lineup should help Chicago out a little bit. Bolland isn’t a game breaking type of player but he can help Chicago settle things down just a bit in a few ways.
Will it be enough to help Chicago dig out of a 3-0 hole in the series and shock Vancouver? Very doubtful but after the Bruins collapse against the Flyers last year, you can never be too sure. Still, the way Vancouver is in the heads of the Blackhawks you can bet on this switch up in the lineup, should it come to pass, to be the proverbial band-aid on a gunshot wound.