After missing the last eight games with a lower-body injury, Dave Bolland is ready to get back at it.
“I’m really happy,” the Chicago center said prior to Wednesday’s Game 1 against Detroit. “It’s been two-and-a-half weeks, so I’m glad to get back on the ice.”
Bolland last played on Apr. 23 — a 3-1 loss to Vancouver — and missed all of Chicago’s opening-round series win against Minnesota.
The 26-year-old was replaced on Chicago’s second line by veteran Michal Handzus, who notched two points in five games against the Wild, averaging nearly 17 minutes a night.
As a result, it sounds as though Bolland will return in a third-line role with Bryan Bickell and Andrew Shaw.
“[We’ll be] in that shutdown role,” Bolland said. “We’ve got to be aware of who’s on the ice and who we’re on with. It’ll be a big game.”
Bolland finished the regular season with 7G-7A-14PTS in just 35 games, but will be counted on for his playoff experience in this matchup against the Wings.
The gritty forward has 37 points in 49 career postseason appearances, scoring eight goals in 22 games en route to Chicago’s Stanley Cup championship in 2010.