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