Brandon Bollig has more than a fighting chance
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org March 13, 2012 10:16PM
Chicago Blackhawks Vs St. Louis Blues. 1St-Period. Chicago Blackhawks No.22. Jamal Mayers fights with St. Louis Blues No.26 B.J. Crombeen. I Scott Stewart~Sun-Times
Updated: April 15, 2012 8:16AM
Brandon Bollig wasn’t smiling much this time.
St. Louis Blues tough guy Ryan Reaves had walloped linemate Jamal Mayers, and the Blackhawks rookie enforcer responded, fighting Reaves for the second time this season and the third time in his professional career Tuesday at the United Center.
“That’s obviously the role I need to fill to stay at the level and to keep a job for years to come,” said Bollig, who also fought Reaves in the American Hockey League. “I’m looking to make a name for myself, whether it be through fighting or hitting or whatever it may be.”
Bollig received the extra instigator penalty, but it was undoubtedly a response backed by his teammates and coach Joel Quenneville. Bollig has gotten into fights in five of his first seven NHL games, gaining attention for smiling during the fights.
“At this point, I’m willing to do anything that I have to do to stay here,” said Bollig, who fought Reaves with 3.1 seconds left in the first period. “If it’s fighting every night, then I’m willing to do that. I hope there doesn’t come a time where I’m tired of doing it and almost not willing to do it because that would be the time I’m done with the game.”
Quenneville sees more than a fighter in Bollig, too.
“I like how he’s playing, and I’m not talking about his fighting,” Quenneville said. “Positionally, he’s got an awareness. He brings us energy. He finishes hits, and technically he’s doing the right things.”
Toews rests again
After four days of skating and plenty of optimism, center Jonathan Toews has rested the last two, raising concerns of a setback as he recovers from a concussion. But Quenneville won’t call it that.
“It’s part of the process,” Quenneville said.
“Some days are better than others, but he knows his body.”
Toews had hoped to play against the Blues, but now the game Friday in Dallas also looks unlikely. Toews was at the United Center undergoing treatments, but he has yet to endure contact as part of his recovery.
“I just take it one step at a time and think about the right things to do for this to heal and for myself to feel good again,” Toews said recently.
Defenseman Duncan Keith’s foundation, “Keith Relief,” which helps families and individuals with medical expenses, will host its inaugural benefit event at Joe’s Bar in Chicago on Wednesday. Country musician Jerrod Niemann will perform, and other Hawks will be celebrity bartenders. Tickets are still available.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Keith said. “My wife [Kelly-Rae] has put a lot of work into it. ... It’s for a good cause. We looked at a few different options and ideas, and [medical expenses are] one that stuck out in our minds. We know in Canada everybody has health insurance. Here, we know that’s not the case. Some people have some expensive bills.”