Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville would like to see Dave Bolland’s play improve
By Mark Lazerus firstname.lastname@example.org March 26, 2013 9:54PM
Updated: April 28, 2013 7:04AM
Before this season, Dave Bolland’s job had always been to pester and defend the opposing team’s top players. Now, as the second-line center, he’s being asked to do more.
And coach Joel Quenneville isn’t seeing enough of it.
“Bolly’s been OK,” Quenneville said. “I think he can be better.”
Bolland entered the game Tuesday against the Flames mired in a 12-game scoring drought, with just one assist in his last five games despite playing alongside the prolific Patrick Kane. He’s the only regular on the team with a minus rating (minus-4), and he has won just 45 percent of his faceoffs.
“I’d like to see him [have] more tenacity in the puck area, have the puck more, have that pace to his game,” Quenneville said. “Whether he’s challenging the other team’s top player or not, I think he still can contribute offensively and defensively be more predictable.”
Bolland has five goals and seven assists in 25 games this season. He looked like the long-awaited answer at that second-line center spot early in the season, but his production has tailed off since he missed five games with an upper-body injury in late February.
Quenneville said he didn’t “have a number in mind” in terms of how many goals Bolland should be scoring.
“I just think we’d like to see that consistency game in, game out,” he said. “Bolly’s a factor, knowing he’s hard to play against and defensively reliable.”
With trade rumors surrounding him as the April 3 deadline nears, Flames captain Jarome Iginla declined to speak with the media Tuesday morning. As for the rumors, teammate Mike Cammalleri said: “Most of us can read. It’s really not that hard to understand. We play in a Canadian market where people love the game of hockey. Jarome Iginla is the face of the Calgary Flames franchise for how long now? And so people have an emotional attachment to him and the team. There’s going to be a lot of gossip when it comes to this topic. I think he’s handling it fine, and for us as players, he hasn’t been any different in the room.”
Marian Hossa (upper body) and Patrick Sharp (shoulder) both skated Tuesday morning, but neither played. Quenneville said he wouldn’t rule either out for the game Friday against the Ducks but said that was likely “stretching it” with Sharp.