Bollig ready for his big chance
While Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville didn't make it official until after Wednesday's morning skate, rookie left wing Brandon Bollig knew he would be playing in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against Boston.
Bollig, who found out Tuesday, had plenty of time to let his parents and grandparents know so they could make the four and a half hour drive from St. Charles, Mo.
"I don't think they were planning on coming in, but I'm excited for them to be here," Bollig said.
Bollig hadn't played since Game 3 of the first round against Minnesota, so his inclusion in the lineup was a surprise to many.
But with the Bruins a big and brawny team, Quenneville obviously felt the 6-foot-2, 225-pouns Bollig was needed.
"I know my role and I'm going to go out there and provide that physical presence for our team and hopefully let our superstars play their role and maybe feel a little safer doing it," Bollig said.
"You dream of this as a kid and I'm excited to live that dream and get it going. It's awesome. I couldn't be more excited and I'm just looking to go out there and play my role. I sure hope it's not that hard, but you have to find that line, kind of push the envelope but know when to reign it in. It's going to be a challenge, but I'm looking forward to it."
Quenneville didn't think he needed to say anything to Bollig.
"I think certain guys are excited about playing in the Final," Quenneville 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, bring that element."
Bollig skated at left wing on a line with Marcus Kruger and Michael Frolik.
"All year long, that line, when they did play, had a purpose," Quenneville said. "We felt several shifts they always seemed to be on the offensive end at the end of the a shift. They seemed to control the play. You're comfortable with him in your own end, faceoffs as well. You have an overall game that we like. I think he can bring an element to our team."