With the Chicago Blackhawks getting a couple days of well deserved rest not skating yesterday and today it will also be very interesting to see how Dave Bolland has progressed from back surgery that he had to repair a herniated disc on Novermber 10th. If one thinks back to how Bolland played prior to the surgery it was obvious there were issues and I believe all Hawks fans are glad he decided in early surgery so he could return as early as Wednesday against the St.Louis Blues.
Bolland brings a lot to the Hawks, he is a very good 2-way player with a nice scoring touch to go along with being a pretty decent faceoff man. Although everyone is excited for Bolland's return I would not expect a ton of ice time for him, many may be expecting him to jump right into the 2nd line center position centering Hossa and Sharp. Don't get me wrong it may happen, but myself and a fellow blogger both agree that it would be smart to let Bolland ease his way back in with some 4th line shifts, yes about 5-7 minutes per game. He needs to get into game shape just like anyone else who comes off of a major surgery and there is no need to throw him into the mix with big minutes or penalty killing…yet.
So assuming Bolland returns Wednesday the question is who sits, the most obvious to me would be Colin Fraser who has no means been sluggish and does not deserve to sit but with the return of Bolly it is simply a process of elimination. Bolland centering Eager and Kopecky gives him some protection and size on the wings which will benefit Bolland on his first game back. We could see Madden drop down and center the 4th and Bolland the 3rd line with Byfuglien and Versteeg but I would assume not. The only way I see Fraser not sitting is if one of the Hawks other forwards is nursing an injury, such as John Madden so I have heard.
It's tough to break up arguably the best 4th line in hockey at this time but it is a great situation to be in having this much depth for once with this franchise. Whomever does sit I highly doubt there will be any animosity amongst players, one of the many positive things about the Hawks is every single one of them is a team player.
Thanks for reading
About the Author
Written by Trent Kondo
An all around sports fan and has been a Chicago BlackHawks supporter longer then he can remember. Currently writes for Prosportsblogging.com on the Blackhawks and NHLHotstove.com on the Edmonton Oilers. (If you would like to email feel free to contact Trent at TKONHOCKEY@gmail.com )