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
CSNChicago.com

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

Will lopsided loss shake Blackhawks from their slumber?

Will lopsided loss shake Blackhawks from their slumber?

The Blackhawks have talked the past several games now about how they need to play better, how they need to get back to their 60-minute game. But even when you tell yourself you have to improve the message doesn't always translate into immediate action. That's especially true if, despite so-so play, you're still managing victories or still eking out a point.

Sometimes, you need a jolt to realize you have to get better. Well, that thud the Blackhawks made in South Florida ought to get their attention. 

The Blackhawks' 7-0 loss to the Florida Panthers on Saturday night, that "ugly, ugly game," as coach Joel Quenneville, is the latest in what's been a mediocre stretch for the team. They've been leaning on their goaltending again (please see Minnesota, Montreal, Ottawa and Dallas games). Or they've been leaning on their ability to wake up in the third period after sleepwalking through the first two. Sixty-minute games and four-line rotations, such a big part of the Blackhawks' success through February and early March, have been absent.

Call it the Blackhawks' mid-March malaise.

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It hasn't been more painful because the Blackhawks have still found ways to get points. Or at least they did until Saturday night, when two "yapping" penalties – Quenneville's (accurate) description of Ryan Hartman and Marcus Kruger's unsportsmanlike calls – started the Blackhawks' demise against the Panthers. Players told the traveling media following the game that this was a wake-up call. It ought to be.

Granted, the Blackhawks' late-season issues aren't as bad as some of their fellow Western Conference teams. The Minnesota Wild are 3-10-1 in March. The San Jose Sharks have lost six in a row. This also isn't the first time the Blackhawks have gone through this late-season mediocrity.

Entering the 2015 postseason they struggled to score goals and lost four in a row (five goals in those four games). It turned out alright. Still, best to avoid bad habits.

Perhaps the Blackhawks are in a bit of a swoon because, really, there's not much for which to play in these final few games. They don't care if they win the Presidents' Trophy (and they probably won't). They're currently in first place by seven points following the Wild's 3-2 overtime loss to Detroit on Sunday. Whether the Blackhawks finish first or second, they'll start this postseason at home. 

So is this panic-inducing? No. Is it a concern? Certainly. The Blackhawks can't start thinking they'll automatically flip the switch as soon as the postseason begins.

The Blackhawks want to get their four-line rotation going again. Artem Anisimov returning in the next week or two will certainly help that. They want to get their overall game going again. The Blackhawks have been telling themselves what needs to be done for a few games now. Maybe they needed a wake-up call. On Saturday, they got it. 

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks give up season-high seven goals

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks give up season-high seven goals

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