Brandon Bollig wasn’t supposed to be bringing an element that’s not in his repertoire in Game 1. He wasn’t put into the lineup to necessarily play a ton of minutes or provide some scoring punch. He was there to be a physical presence, hit when necessary and protect the Blackhawks’ stars.
And the Blackhawks got what they wanted from Bollig.
[Related: Hawks' Hitting won't let up in Game 2]
Bollig played about 14 ½ minutes and logged nine hits, tied for the team high (with Andrew Shaw and Bryan Bickell), in the Blackhawks’ triple-overtime victory over the Boston Bruins. For Bollig, it was an opportunity he didn’t want to squander; and coach Joel Quenneville was happy with what he saw.
“I thought he had a real strong game for us. I liked what he brought to the team,” Quenneville said. “I thought he was defensively responsible, that he ended up in the offensive zone a lot. Defensively, you're comfortable with him. I thought he was physical, thought he had a purpose behind his game. He brought what we were looking for.”
And Game 1’s intensity is exactly what Bollig was planning on seeing.
“It’s the playoffs, so (the pace and intensity) are obviously heightened a bit,” Bollig said. “You think about it the night before, you try to imagine things, but those are definitely the fun games to be a part of. You think physical, fast-paced and it didn’t disappoint.”
The main adjustment for Bollig was just getting back to game speed; Bollig hadn’t played since the first round against the Minnesota Wild. But he felt just fine afterward.
“I was feeing it a little bit, but nothing out of the ordinary,” he said.
That’s good, because it’s likely he’ll be playing again in Game 2 tomorrow night; Bollig was once again on the fourth line during Friday’s practice. Considering how physical Game 1 was and how intense the series will continue to be, that’s fine with him.
“That’s my kind of game especially; that’s probably a good reason why I was in the lineup,” Bollig said. “Games like those are definitely fun to play in. They definitely help you stay engaged, stay focused on the goal at hand.”