Brandon Bollig

Quenneville goes with Bollig, but preaches discipline

6 Comments

The insertion of big Brandon Bollig into Chicago’s lineup in place of speedy forward Viktor Stalberg had at least one reporter wondering if the Blackhawks may be falling into Boston’s trap before the 2013 Stanley Cup Final had even begun.

However, Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville doesn’t believe the winger switch for tonight’s Game 1 at the United Center means the ‘Hawks are somehow trying to prove they can stand up to the big, bad Bruins.

“All year long, that line, when they did play, had a purpose,” said Quenneville of the line of Bollig, Marcus Kruger and Michael Frolik. “We felt several shifts they always seemed to be on the offensive end at the end of the a shift.

“They seemed to control the play. You’re comfortable with him in your own end. Faceoffs as well. You have an overall game that we like. I think he can bring an element to our team.”

Bollig has registered 11 hits in three playoff games while averaging 7:03 of ice time. His last appearance was on May 5 in a first-round contest versus Minnesota.

In a possibly related story, how much the two teams engage in after-the-whistle scrums will be something to watch tonight. Both sides come into the series with struggling power plays, but one bad, retaliatory penalty could still be the difference between a win and a loss.

“Discipline is something we talk about all the time,” said Quenneville. “I think we’ve been pretty responsible all year staying out of the box. I think that’s something we’ll reinforce, like we said earlier, playing hard between whistles, knowing a small quantity of penalties, one or two, will be preferable.

“You never know how the games are going to be. You can’t control that. You want to make sure you’re playing hard and stay responsible. But let’s stay out of the box.”

Blackhawks lines, per NHL.com:

Patrick SharpJonathan ToewsMarian Hossa

Bryan BickellMichal HandzusPatrick Kane

Brandon SaadDave BollandAndrew Shaw

Brandon BolligMarcus KrugerMichael Frolik

Duncan KeithBrent Seabrook

Johnny OduyaNiklas Hjalmarsson

Nick LeddyMichal Rozsival

Corey Crawford

Ray Emery

Video: Rangers shut out red-hot Sidney Crosby and the Penguins

Leave a comment

The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.

But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.

In the process, they held a red-hot Sidney Crosby off the score sheet, which has been a difficult, sometimes impossible task for opposing teams since about the middle of December. He entered this game with a seven-game scoring streak.

(In fact, New York held No. 87 to without a shot on goal in the entire game.)

Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 34 shots he faced for the shutout.

Kevin Hayes gave the Rangers the lead in the first period, before Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast put the game away in the third.

Pittsburgh remains in the second Wild Card spot in the East. The Rangers now move three points clear of the rival Islanders for second in the Metropolitan.

Video: Wideman hearing ‘a tricky case’ as NHLPA hopes to get 20-game suspension reduced

Leave a comment

There is no certain timeline for when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman might rule on Dennis Wideman‘s appeal, according to a report from hockey insider Darren Dreger on NBCSN, as the Calgary Flames defenseman hopes to get his 20-game ban for hitting linesman Don Henderson reduced.

“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.

“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”

Report: Coyotes shut down Vitale (concussion) for the season

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 6.45.35 PM
Leave a comment

Joe Vitale will not play again this season.

The Arizona Coyotes have shut Vitale down for the remainder of the 2015-16 campaign due to “concussion-related issues,” according to a report from Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports on Wednesday.

Vitale, a 30-year-old veteran center, appeared in only one game for the Coyotes this season. That was back on Oct. 17, when he suffered a concussion and broken orbital bone in a fight with Kevan Miller of the Boston Bruins.

Sens announce Frattin, acquired in Phaneuf deal, will stick with AHL Marlies

Matt Frattin
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Matt Frattin was traded by the Leafs to Ottawa yesterday as part of the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster.

But for now, he’s staying in Toronto.

On Wednesday, Sens GM Bryan Murray announced that Frattin will remain with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate — the Toronto Marlies — on loan, but will be available for selection should Ottawa require his services down the road.

Frattin, 28, has spent all of this season with the Marlies, scoring nine goals and 22 points in 47 games. His last NHL appearance came during the ’14-15 campaign, with the Leafs.

Prior to that, the former North Dakota standout had spent time in Los Angeles and Columbus.