The Chicago Blackhawks just couldn’t beat Kari Lehtonen on Friday, as the Dallas Stars looked impressive in a 2-1 win. The teams shift back to Chicago tonight, but the Blackhawks’ best news is that Dave Bolland is expected to return, according to Tracey Myers of CSNChicago.com.
Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp are the team’s biggest stars, but Bolland is their wild card.
The Blackhawks almost jumped out of an 0-3 first round hole against the Vancouver Canucks once Bolland hopped back into the lineup. Sure, it wasn’t all about Bolland, but few players get under the skin of stars quite like him. (When you make one of the Sedin twins and Joe Thornton snap in the same playoff run, you’ve accomplished something.)
It doesn’t sound like this will bump Kane out of his experimental center spot, which means that Bolland should take an appropriate third line role. Kane seemed solid last night, as he won most of his faceoffs and fired five shots on goal. Bolland should make things that much easier for his Blackhawks teammates and life a lot harder for the Stars’ best players. (He might want to stay away from Jamie Benn, though.)
Anyway, here’s video of Daniel Sedin “attacking” Bolland, for your giggling pleasure:
This hasn’t been the best night for St. Louis sports fans.
Obviously, the MLB’s Cardinals getting bounced from the playoffs is a bigger deal, but the Blues face bad news, too.
While they’re currently leading the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-3, they’ll need to hang on without Kevin Shattenkirk, whose night is over thanks to a lower-body injury.
There’s no word yet on how severe the issue might be.
Naturally, the Blues must hope that it’s minor, as Shattenkirk is one of the NHL’s truly underrated assets on the blueline.
Stephanie (@MyRegularFace) tracked down a moment when the injury may have happened:
It’s not all rosy for the Flames, either, as Lance Bouma suffered an injury as well.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.