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Enforcer Brandon Bollig surprised by call-up from Blackhawks

Corey Crawford makes pad save shot by Coyotes' MartHanzal (11) first period. | Christian Petersen~Getty Images

Corey Crawford makes a pad save on a shot by the Coyotes' Martin Hanzal (11) in the first period. | Christian Petersen~Getty Images

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Updated: May 14, 2012 8:22AM



GLENDALE, Ariz. — Simply put, Brandon Bollig never ­expected to be where he is, which would be playing for the Blackhawks in the playoffs.

“Absolutely not,” the 6-3, 223-pound enforcer said. “I was shocked even getting called up.”

Bollig and fellow rookie Andrew Shaw made their playoff debuts Thursday in Game 1 of the Hawks’ first-round series against the ­Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena.

“The playoffs are obviously hyped up and everything is amplified,” Bollig, 25, said. “But ... I’m playing and I’m still here for a reason. I’m not going to change anything with the way I play.”

That would be being physical and stepping in for his teammates — namely center Jonathan Toews who returned after missing 22 games with a concussion Thursday — if the Coyotes get overzealous during the series.

Bollig was initially called up after giant-sized tough guy John Scott was traded to the New York Rangers. He played in 18 regular-season games on the fourth line and got into eight fights.

“I had no clue how long I’d be here,” Bollig said. “That I stuck and played every game since I’ve been here and lucky enough to play in the playoffs is obviously a dream come true.”

Montador matters

Defenseman Steve Montador (concussion) is expected to resume skating soon. He missed the last five games of the regular season ­after previously missing 22 in a row.

Montador hasn’t played since March 27 against the New Jersey Devils when he first returned from his concussion. He took an ­inadvertent elbow to his head and was ruled out indefinitely.

“He’s progressing as we speak,” coach Joel Quenneville said.

But Quenneville said “it’s tough to say” if he’ll be ready if the Hawks make a long run.



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