Hawks’ Dave Bolland says he’ll be ready to go against Coyotes
BY BEN MEYER-ABBOTT firstname.lastname@example.org April 9, 2012 7:46PM
Hawks center Dave Bolland looks to pass the puck deep in the Detroit zone in the third period of the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings Tuesday February 21, 2012 at the United Center. Defending is Detroit defenseman Brad Stuart. | TOM CRUZE~Sun-Times
Updated: May 11, 2012 8:11AM
Despite some ‘‘bumps and bruises,’’ Dave Bolland will be back in his role as the Blackhawks’ third-line center and agitator when they start the playoffs Thursday against the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz.
Bolland missed the last two games of the regular season with an upper-body injury, but he practiced Monday and said he was looking forward to the Hawks’ first-round series.
‘‘Feel great,’’ he said. ‘‘Just [had some] bumps and bruises, that’s all.’’
Bolland, who always seems to have an extra gear in the playoffs, said he has been talking with rookie linemate Andrew Shaw about what to expect in the postseason.
‘‘The playoffs are always a fun time; I always get excited for them,’’ Bolland said. ‘‘The playoffs are always a big stage, and that’s when people like to show off and play their games.’’
It’s a time of year coach Joel Quenneville thinks is ideally suited to Bolland’s defense-first approach and his ability to get under the skin of opponents.
‘‘He seems to rise to the occasion of playoff hockey,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘He likes the responsibility of either shutting down a line or getting the responsibility of playing against a line. . . . We’re going to need him, and we need that line to be effective.’’
Brunette back, too
Winger Andrew Brunette (foot) missed the last two games of the regular season, too, but said he’s feeling better every day and will be available for Game 1 against the Coyotes.
‘‘That break definitely helps,’’ Brunette said. ‘‘You want to make sure you’re going in 100 percent. It felt good [Monday], and I know it’ll feel better [Tuesday].’’
Quenneville said he hopes to have his full lineup at his disposal against the Coyotes.
‘‘It’s always a moving target with your health, and hopefully we’ve got all systems go,’’ he said. ‘‘We’re excited about it, and it would be a nice way to begin the playoffs.’’
Contributing: Adam L. Jahns