Blackhawks

Not so fast, Hawks survive off Bolland's boost

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Not so fast, Hawks survive off Bolland's boost

Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Posted: 9:45 p.m. Updated: 11:17 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

Dave Bolland went through weeks of dreadful times as he worked through a concussion. On Tuesday he was back doling out that misery to the Vancouver Canucks.

Bolland had a goal and three assists and Patrick Sharp had two goals as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Canucks 7-2 in Game 4 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series. The Blackhawks, boosted by Bollands return and fueled by Brent Seabrooks absence, were flying from the start and kept the pressure on Vancouver throughout the night.

WATCH: How did everything click in Game 4?

(It was a) huge boost, coach Joel Quenneville said. Not just his return to the lineup but that he had some enthusiasm with the quality and quantity of ice time. He had a special night.

The Blackhawks needed motivation to stave off elimination on Tuesday and they got it from several sources. They were frustrated that Seabrook was out after taking a shoulder-to-head hit from Vancouver forward Raffi Torres in Game 3. They were down 3-0. And Bolland, a constant thorn in the Canucks side was back. It all led to the Blackhawks most complete and dominating game of the series.

We played for each other tonight. If we do that, weve got the confidence now that things can go our way, Jonathan Toews said. There was a lot of motivation for our team. We want to play for each other, for guys like Seabs. That was our way of showing a little payback, especially in our own building.

For Bolland, there was no doubt he was coming back for this one. He had taken tests more than a week ago and failed, but he said doctors told him hed be ready around this time. He took and passed the necessary protocol this morning while his teammates participated in skate. Any doubt he was ready was erased pretty quickly as he and linemates Bryan Bickell and Michael Frolik were stellar.

Hes a great player and he showed it tonight, said Frolik, who had a goal and an assist. We had a little chemistry tonight. Hopefully itll keep working.

As for fatigue, Bolland was feeling none of it.

There was no rust to dust off, Bolland said. The first game back is always the one you worry about. I remember coming off back surgery, I was gasping for air on the first one. The speed is tough. But I was training and kept conditioning up (this time).

Bickell had a goal and Duncan Keith and Brian Campbell scored 17 seconds apart in the second period.

The Blackhawks played as a team on Tuesday night. They played for injured teammates as much as those in the lineup with them. And several players and Quenneville said they felt no pressure coming into Game 4. They also dont expect any for Game 5.

We feel if we keep getting better and that puts us in the right spot, Quenneville said. Weve improved every single game. There were some good things that happened tonight but we still havent played our best. Weve got confidence in our team game. Thats a proud bunch.

For Bolland, his personal concussion hell is over. On Tuesday he was just back to giving others headaches.
Chris Campoli and Ryan Johnson get into a scrum late in the third period of Game 4. Things got chippy near the end, but no Vancouver player would drop the gloves with Blackhawks enforcer John Scott. (US PRESSWIRE)
I was just hoping for the win, Bolland said. I didnt think Id get four points. But I got both so it was a fun night.
Have a nice day

John Scott and Raffi Torres left late in the third period after they both received 10-minute misconducts. The duo never scrapped, but apparently yapped at each other instead.

Scott said it was just a little friendly banter.

I just asked him how his familys doing, Scott said. It was a good conversation. We got 10 minutes for having a nice conversation.

Torres said Scott asked him for a scrape.

I think he just said he wanted to beat me up so I was like, OK, great, good for you, Torres told reporters.

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

Corey Crawford expects to make season debut for Blackhawks on Thursday vs. Arizona

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USA TODAY

Corey Crawford expects to make season debut for Blackhawks on Thursday vs. Arizona

The wait is almost over.

After missing nearly 10 months with a concussion, Corey Crawford said he expects to start on Thursday when the Blackhawks take on the Arizona Coyotes at the United Center. An official decision will come following the team's morning skate.

"It feels good to be back to myself," Crawford said. "I'm feeling good, I'm feeling clear. ... It was a pretty long process. But I think the most important thing was not to rush anything. When I finally was out, it got to a point where I wasn’t in shape to play and it was time to rest and it’s unfortunate it took a lot longer than I would’ve liked. 

"It’s been long, but finally, just to get back and be practicing with the team has meant a lot. It’s good to get to this point now when you’re really close to playing. Practices have been great, been getting timing a little bit more and getting up to speed and reading shots and all that, so it'll be nice to finally get in one."

Crawford's last appearance in an NHL game was Dec. 23, 2017 against the New Jersey Devils when he allowed three goals on seven shots in 13:22 of action before getting pulled. So of course, emotions will naturally be running high, especially in front of the hometown crowd.

"I'm sure I'll be a little anxious getting into it," Crawford said. "Some nerves. But we'll see. We'll wait until the morning, but I'm definitely excited I can tell you that."

It's obviously terrific news for the Blackhawks, who have picked up eight out of a possible 10 points to start the season and are getting their two-time Stanley Cup winning goalie back between the pipes. It's been a long time coming, and Crawford is coming back into a healthy situation where the Blackhawks are in a good spot in the standings.

"It's great news, I'm sure it'll be exciting for him exciting for our team, exciting for our fans and the organization as well," Patrick Kane said. "It’s probably a good situation all around. Cam [Ward] has done a great job of playing in the net so far. Crow is really good in practice right now, so I’m sure he’s itching to get back, too. We’ve had a good start here. It’s something we want to keep going, and I’m sure him coming back on home ice, in front of our crowd, will be a fun one for him and for our team."

There's no doubting how important Crawford is the team and organization. While there may be a little bit of rust early on, the Blackhawks are expecting him to look like his old self.

"He means a lot to the team," Quenneville said. "We felt last year was a good example of how important he was and how well he was playing for us, as well. We’ve gotten off to a decent start and he was a big factor in it. We know that goaltending is such a big part of the team and your success a lot of nights depends on him and his consistency’s always been in place.

"But he looks good in the net. He’s been off for a long, long time. Is there rust? Do we expect rust? I think the way he’s competing and practicing and finding pucks, he looks like he hasn’t missed a beat. So we’re looking forward to him getting in there and getting comfortable and how he’s feeling going forward will dictate a lot of the decisions about him going back in."

Hawks Talk Podcast: Crawford's return, Saad's demotion and power play concerns

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USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: Crawford's return, Saad's demotion and power play concerns

In the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle, Charlie Roumeliotis and Slavko Bekovic provide their thoughts on the Blackhawks’ 3-0-2 start.

They also discuss Brandon Saad’s demotion and whether it could serve as a wake-up call, Corey Crawford’s potential return on Thursday vs. Arizona and what could happen with Anton Forsberg because of it, and address the power play concerns.

The guys wrap up the podcast by making a few bold predictions going forward.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below, and be sure to subscribe, rate us and write a review!