Center of attention? Frolik says he’s at ease in role
By Adam L. Jahns email@example.com March 12, 2011 11:06PM
today blackhawks at capitals
The facts: 11:30, Ch. 5, 720-AM.
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
WASHINGTON — Michael Frolik surprised himself. Frolik fared well after being thrown into the faceoff circle and in the middle of an important line when center Dave Bolland was knocked out of the Blackhawks’ lineup with a concussion.
“I felt good in Tampa,” Frolik said. “I was surprised that I even won some faceoffs, too. Every game is different. . . . I feel good. Hopefully, it will be working.”
Frolik prefers wing over center, but with Bolland out, he’ll center Marian Hossa and Bryan Bickell on the second line today against the Washington Capitals. He played the final 45 minutes of the Hawks’ shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday at center, winning five of eight draws.
There is an adjustment, Frolik said. But he has grown more comfortable with the Hawks’ system.
“It really is a different mind-set,” Frolik said. “You have to slow things down a little bit, stay in the middle . . . and you have more responsibilities in the [defensive] zone. You have to win battles.”
It has been years since Frolik primarily has played center, but coach Joel Quenneville has liked what he has seen.
“I didn’t mind him there — not just how he can play and that position, but as far as his thought process defensively,” Quenneville said. “He was good on faceoffs. Hopefully, that line can take off from what that line was doing before.”
On the mend
Bolland is the latest to join an ever-growing collection of NHL players to miss a game with a concussion.
Fernando Pisani, Ryan Johnson, Viktor Stalberg and Patrick Sharp have all missed time with a concussion this year.
It’s hard to gauge when Bolland will recover and be ready to play in a game.
“We’ll say day-to-day, but it’s tough to forecast,” Quenneville said. “We’re seeing a little progress.”
Defenseman Brian Campbell (leg) is a game-time decision, while Niklas Hjalmarsson (hand) and Duncan Keith (hand) will play against the Capitals.
After their practice session Saturday at the Capitals’ practice facility in Arlington, Va., the Hawks skated with the Wounded Warriors hockey club from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
“It was great,” Quenneville said. “We were talking this whole trip about how we’d love to have a two-puck scrimmage.
‘‘And then to summon both teams out there at the same time . . . Having that drill out there, it was great.
“They were excited. We were excited, and it was a competitive game. It was actually a perfect thing.”
A Sharp tweeter
Sharp is the first Hawk to join Twitter (@patrick10sharp). He sent his first tweet Thursday , instantly gaining thousands of followers.
“I’ve had the account for a while because there are so many fake Patrick Sharp accounts,” Sharp said. “I didn’t know there was going to be so many followers right away. . . . It’s fun to the see the comments, but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t last too long.”