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At the Rink blog

Bolland shows knack for scoring 'shorties'

Monday, 10.31.2011 / 4:50 PM

By Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent / At the Rink blog

CHICAGO -- He's known for playing stellar defense, which is why Chicago Blackhawks center Dave Bolland is a key figure of the team's top-ranked penalty-killing unit coming into Monday night's game against the Nashville Predators.

His offensive skills often get overshadowed, but he's found at least one way to really showcase both sides of his game -- scoring shorthanded goals. Bolland's 5 goals tie him with Marian Hossa for the team lead, and two have come while playing with just four skaters on the ice.

His latest shorty came against the Columbus Blue Jackets this past weekend, when he darted up ice to set up a breakaway after a great shot block and pass by Michael Frolik from inside the Chicago blue line.

Bolland broke in on goalie Allen York and slid a backhand shot just inside the left post while being hooked to the ice. It happened late in the first period and gave Chicago momentum back after the Blue Jackets had tied the game 1-1 earlier in the period.

The Hawks now have three shorthanded goals in the first 10 games of the season -- the other was scored by Hossa -- and it's helping make up for a power play that's potted just four goals in 38 opportunities coming into Monday night's game against the Nashville Predators.

"Those are huge lifts for you," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said of shorthanded goals. "A lot of nights, if you score shorthanded or you kill a 5-on-3, you're going to come out on the winning side of it. When you are able to cash in, it's a huge bonus. It deflates the other team."

As for Bolland's penchant for putting the puck in the net a man down?

"He anticipates really well and he's got some quickness," Quenneville said. "He's got some deceptiveness and he's out there a lot of the time on the PK … so, sometimes you can counter punch 'em."

Playing for my favorite team growing up, I've probably scored that goal a million times in my driveway. It feels good to actually do it in real life.

— Dale Weise, who grew up a Canadiens fan, on scoring the overtime winner in Montreal's 5-4 victory against Tampa Bay in Game 1