Dealing with concussion left Bolland depressed

Dealing with concussion left Bolland depressed

Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Posted: 9:03 p.m. Updated: 9:55 p.m.

By Tracey Myers

VANCOUVER, British Columbia Dave Bolland was as down mentally as he was physically.

The Chicago Blackhawks forward struggled with the concussion he sustained on March 9. Days, weeks went by, and Bolland just wasnt feeling any better. It was sapping him in every way.

Its a drain to your body, a drain to your mind, said Bolland, who talked Tuesday for the first time since getting hurt. Its depressing. I didnt want to do anything. Guys would want to do something and you just wanted to stay in. You dont want to deal with anything. It was very tough. I could feel for (Sidney) Crosby and other guys whove had it. Its a tough time and Im glad Im over that hump.

Bolland is improving and he once again donned the non-contact jersey to practice with his teammates on Tuesday. While teammate Troy Brouwer (right shoulder) is a good possibility for Game 1 on Wednesday, Bolland isnt - I still have to do some tests to make sure everything up there is OK, he said.

Coach Joel Quenneville said well make that announcement when hes ready to go.

Tampa Bay defenseman Pavel Kubina was suspended three games for the elbow that caused Bollands concussion. Bolland said Kubina may have tried to call him, but doctors told him to stay off his cell phone not long after he was hurt, so hes not sure. Regardless, Bolland harbors no ill will toward Kubina.

I know he didnt mean to clip me like that, he said. Its a fast game and things happen out there. You wish things like that didnt happen but its part of the game and have to deal with it.

Bolland said he finally snapped out of it two Sundays ago after having headaches and feeling hazy and foggy for the last three or four weeks. Every night he went to bed hoping hed feel better the next day. Every morning, he wouldnt.

Doctors said one day you have it and the next day its totally gone. Id wake up every day hoping that was the day but it just was never going away, Bolland said. Its just time and thats all it is.

Now hes turned the corner. Hell take the necessary steps and tests to make sure hes ready. theres nothing more hed like to do than to play against the Canucks; but for now, hes happy just to be here, to be practicing and to be feeling better.

Once we knew wed be playing Vancouver, I wish I felt better and was ready to play the first game. It does get frustrating when everyones getting ready for this, Bolland said. I still feel a little bit of a haze but just whenever I feel great, whenever I feel my mind and heads back, Ill be good.

No Buff

Dustin Byfuglien was big in frustrating the Canucks in last years playoff series. He was a big presence, he crashed the net and scored, garnering a hat trick in Game 1 and collecting six points (four goals, two assists) for the series.

The Blackhawks will be missing that this time against Vancouver, but the Canucks figure theyll just find someone else.

Regardless of who we play someones going to get in front of (Roberto Luongo). Thats the key to scoring goals on him; hes too good otherwise, Kevin Bieksa said. Im sure theyll have a new Byfuglien this series. Well have to find out who it is.

Tracey Myers is's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Life was a lot different last time the Blackhawks missed the playoffs

Life was a lot different last time the Blackhawks missed the playoffs

For the first time in a decade, the Blackhawks officially will not be in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

With a 5-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche Tuesday night at the United Center, the Blackhawks will be sitting at home mid-April instead of looking to add to their trophy case.

Exactly 366 days before, the Blackhawks actually became the first NHL team to clinch a playoff berth, also the result of a game against the Avs:

The last time the Blackhawks missed the playoffs, Denis Savard was the coach and Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane were just 19 years old in the midst of their rookie seasons.

The next year, Joel Quenneville took over as coach after four games and led the Blackhawks all the way to the Conference Finals.

Of course, the following year (2009-10 season) brought the first of three Stanley Cups.

For perspective on how incredible this stretch has been for the Blackhawks, here's how the other professional Chicago sports teams spent 2008:

—The Bears finished 9-7 in Matt Forte's rookie year (he's since retired) with Kyle Orton as the starting quarterback and Lovie Smith as head coach.

—The Cubs led the National League in runs scored en route to a 97-win regular season...before falling flat against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS. Lou Piniella was still the manager and Theo Epstein was still three years away from coming to Chicago.

—The Bulls found some incredible luck, pulling the No. 1 overall pick and selecting Chicago native Derrick Rose. He helped the Bulls to a 41-41 season as a rookie under coach Vinny Del Negro.

—The White Sox lost to Joe Maddon and the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS after winning the AL Central under manager Ozzie Guillen. Carlos Quentin enjoyed a breakout season (36 HR, 100 RBI) while Gavin Floyd won 17 games. 

The Blackhawks still have eight games left before the 2017-18 season ends April 7.

Alex DeBrincat records third career hat trick, but Blackhawks lose to Blues in overtime

Alex DeBrincat records third career hat trick, but Blackhawks lose to Blues in overtime

For Alex DeBrincat, it was probably nice to hear Chelsea Dagger again.

But how about three times?

The 20-year-old rookie snapped out of a 13-game scoring drought in a big way on Sunday night, recording his third hat trick of the season. DeBrincat did all he could to help give the Blackhawks two points, but they only came away with one in a 5-4 overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues.

DeBrincat is now the first rookie in franchise history with three hat tricks in the same season, passing Steve Larmer. His last two hat tricks came against the Anaheim Ducks on Nov. 27, 2017 and Detroit Red Wings on Jan. 25.

"It's pretty cool," DeBrincat said of his third hat trick, "but I wouldn't be able to do that without the guys we have in this locker room and the linemates I've had. Most credit to them."

Entering Sunday, his last goal was on Feb. 17 against the Washington Capitals.

"Obviously it's frustrating when you go through a slump that like that but what I've learned is to stay positive and there's other things you can help your team win with," DeBrincat said. "Just kind of focus on those things."

He netted goals No. 23, 24 and 25 on the season, tying Patrick Kane for the team lead. He is also tied for second among goals scored by a rookie this season.

DeBrincat opened the scoring with nice wrist shot on the power play to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead midway through the first. With less than a minute to go in the period, he tapped one home in front of the net to make it 2-0.

In the third period with the game tied at 3-3, DeBrincat put his team in front 4-3 with 3:13 left in regulation. 

“We were talking about [DeBrincat] today, it had been a while since he had scored," coach Joel Quenneville said. "But whether he scores or not, he does a lot of good things in the game, and he’s very aware of his positioning, and doing the right things, finding pucks, getting in shooting lanes, or denying passing lanes. So he’s effective in a lot of ways, but nice to see him score a nice power-play goal today.”

But Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo even things up again after a shot from the point found its way past J-F Berube with 1:22 left. Patrik Berglund would net the game-winner in overtime to hand the Blackhawks a loss.

"I feel like we’ve played well and we just came up a little bit short," DeBrincat said. "I feel like that’s been the theme of this whole season.”