Brandon Bollig has been here before – sort of.
Yes, Bollig has played in some postseason games before. His only goal came in one last season against the Phoenix Coyotes. But to be reinserted in the lineup for the Stanley Cup Final, that’s something else.
Bollig will return to postseason play tonight as the Chicago Blackhawks host the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final tonight at the United Center. For Bollig, it’s his first action since the first three games of the first-round series against Minnesota.
“You can’t psyche yourself up too much. You dream of this as a child and I’m excited to live that dream,” Bollig said. “Hopefully I’ll provide that safety to allow our superstars and our more skilled guys to play their game and feel more comfortable doing it. Boston’s a big, tough team; hopefully they’ll feel safer doing so.”
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Coach Joel Quenneville said Bollig will be reminded by all on how to stay on the right side of the line.
“I think certain guys are excited about playing in the Final,” he said. “All year long, whether the situation or the team, I think he's pretty smart on knowing what he brings to our team, and to the table. We want him to play hard, smart, within the whistles and bring that element.”
Bollig knows what he has to do. It’s just a matter of doing it now.
“You have to find the line,” he said. “You want to try to push the envelope but not push it too far. You have to know when to be intense and when to rein it in. I’m excited. [The nerves] are not too bad right now, but I’ll be pumped up when the game gets closer. Hopefully nerves aren’t a factor.”