Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Bolland not 'just another player'

Categories: Chicago Blackhawks, VAN vs. CHI, Vancouver Canucks

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Blackhawks centre Dave Bolland, left, is congratulated by teammate John Scott after scoring Chicago's fourth goal in a 7-2 victory over the visiting Canucks in Game 4 at the United Center on Tuesday. (Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press) Blackhawks centre Dave Bolland, left, is congratulated by teammate John Scott after scoring Chicago's fourth goal in a 7-2 victory over the visiting Canucks in Game 4 at the United Center on Tuesday. (Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press)

Henrik Sedin called Dave Bolland "just another player." He proved to be so much more Tuesday.

Bolland's four-point night pumped life into the Chicago Blackhawks. Not only did he bring more balance to Chicago's lines, he helped shut down the Sedins and the Vancouver Canucks.

Daniel managed one goal, in garbage time of a 7-2 loss. Bolland finished the game with a plus-4 rating. The Sedins? A combined minus-7.

It's was a remarkable return for Bolland, who had been out for five weeks because of a concussion. He said he cleared his baseline test, clearing him to play, Tuesday morning before Game 4.

"It was pretty dreadful, going through some period of depression," Bolland said when asked about the time he missed. "It's really tough.

"I can feel for Sid [Crosby] and a few of the guys that are out right now because it's a tough process. You never know when you're going to snap out of that concussion."

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Bolland's return gave his team a "huge boost." Bolland nearly scored on his first shift and later got the fourth goal, which appeared to be the final dagger for the Canucks. Roberto Luongo didn't seem impressed with Bolland after the game.

"Obviously, he helped them out tonight," the Canucks netminder said. "But he's not a guy who will change a series."
Maybe Luongo is right. But Bolland has given the Blackhawks hope.

'Put it behind me'

It was a tough night for the Canucks defence and that made it a tough night for Luongo. He ended the first period grimacing in pain because of dehydration.

Luongo spent the rest of the night just grimacing. Luongo gave up six goals before he got the mercy hook in the third period. He did, however, manage to find a silver lining.

"The good news is I don't have to sit on it for five months before we get to play again," said Luongo, referencing the elimination games in each of the past two years against the Blackhawks.
Luongo claimed he felt good and was seeing the puck well. But he shied away from pinning any blame on his defencemen, who, collectively, had their worst game since November.

"I'm just going to put it behind me and move on," Luongo said. "I mean, I am not going to beat myself up over it.

"I made a lot of good saves in the first period ... and, in the second, they kept on pushing and got a few goals."

'What a joke'

John Scott replaced Brent Seabrook, who was out of the lineup because of an upper body injury. Seabrook was hurt in Game 3 by a Raffi Torres hit which many in Chicago thought should have led to a suspension. Before Scott was in the lineup, Canucks blue-liner Kevin Bieksa said he didn't worry about facing him, despite Scott's 6-foot-8 size, because he wasn't a good skater.

"Bieksa, what a joke," Scott said. "He kept talking about how I was going to get walked wide and he gets beat wide on his first shift of the game.

"Bicksie [Bryan Bickell] walks [around] him [to score the first goal]. I guess he needs skating lessons, not me.

"He said in the paper before I was in the lineup, 'Scott can't even skate, we'll just skate around him.' And then he gets beat wide. Maybe he has to go and take some skating lessons after practice."

'A little payback'

The Blackhawks were a team in desperate need of inspiration and they got some from the Torres hit and the NHL's decision to not suspend him.

"For sure, for sure," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "It kind of added insult to injury when we didn't get the decision we wanted. We don't feel like he should have been in the game.

"You're going to lay down and let that team take four games in a row on you, especially when they pull stunts like that. We went out there and played for every single guy, including [Seabrook]. We showed what we can do when we have that motivation."

Toews also said the win meant more because it was so lopsided.

"It was our way of showing a little payback, especially in our own building," Toews said. "It's nice to get a bunch of goals like that and bring it back to them in a way."

Although the Canucks still have a commanding 3-1 lead in the series, Henrik Sedin expressed concern the Canucks loss pumped hope into the Blackhawks dressing room.

"It's the playoffs," he said. "You get one win and you get life.

"We did a lot of things you usually don't see. We gave up more for 3-on-2s and 2-on-1s than we did all season.

"But we got the split [in Chicago] and this is where we want to be. We'll look at the positives and regroup."