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Canucks v Blackhawks - 2011 Stanley Cup Conference Quarterfinals

Bolland could be back in the lineup for Game 4

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Dave Bolland is tired of being a fan and has a goal of returning to play in this Western Conference quarterfinal series against the Vancouver Canucks.

That said, his ongoing recovery from a concussion inflicted by an elbow on Mar. 9 against the Tampa Bay Lightning will still keep him from playing in Game 3 on Sunday night at the United Center.

"I'm progressing," Bolland told after Chicago's morning skate on Sunday. "Things are going good. Now it's just keeping it on a baseline, keeping it straight and making sure there's no other symptoms -- making sure nothing is coming back. You're going to have your ups and downs, but I still have to be positive, come to the rink and do everything I can to come back. Everything for me is staying positive."

That's why Bolland is targeting this series for his return to action. Hawks coach Joel Quenneville even indicated that a return by Bolland is possible sooner than later -- maybe even game 4 on Tuesday.

Hawks hoping Scott's size gives them an edge

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- The Blackhawks admit their desperation level is high heading into Game 3 Sunday night knowing another loss would put them in a 0-3 hole. It appears coach Joel Quenneville will make a move that speaks to just that.

John Scott, Chicago's 6-foot-8, 260-pound towering and brawling defenseman, will likely play against the Canucks as a forward. Scott hasn't played since March 20 against Phoenix, and even then he played five shifts totaling just over four minutes. He didn't score a goal in 40 games this season and has just 1 goal and 3 assists in 111 career games.

"If I can pot one that'd be nice," Scott said smiling.

Quenneville couched it by saying Scott will probably play, but he also confirmed that Tomas Kopecky, Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland are out. Scott emphatically said he is playing as a forward, and he is pumped because it will be his first career playoff game.

Torres anxious to return to Canucks' lineup

Dhiren Mahiban - Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- With Vancouver and Chicago exchanging a total of 153 hits through the first two games of their best-of-seven series, it's fair to say suspended Canucks winger Raffi Torres has been licking his chops to get back into the lineup.

Torres will do so Sunday night when the series resumes at the United Center for Game 3, which the Canucks lead 2-0.

"I'm very excited," Torres said as the team prepared to board a flight from Vancouver bound for Chicago on Saturday morning. "It's been a fun two games, the boys have been playing great, but just watching on the outskirts there -- I can't wait to get in."

Canucks know there's still plenty of work to do

Dhiren Mahiban - Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- The third time was a charm for the Vancouver Canucks as Friday night's 4-3 win against the Chicago Blackhawks was the first time Vancouver managed to take a 2-0 series lead after two previous unsuccessful attempts.

In the 2009 Western Conference semifinals, the Canucks opened the series with a 5-3 win only to lose Game 2 by a 6-3 score on home ice. Then last year in the Western Conference semifinals, Vancouver opened with a 5-1 win in Chicago with the Blackhawks, evening the series with a 4-2 win two nights later.

Toews searching for an offensive spark

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Jonathan Toews insists he's not frustrated, that he won't let himself go to a place where making excuses in the media is acceptable.

Nevertheless, Chicago's captain could use a pick-me-up from his buddies so he doesn't have to worry about a line of questioning that for so long has been reserved for the other guys, not for him.

Toews has been held off the scoresheet in the first two games against the Vancouver Canucks and has just a single point in his last nine games. Going back to last season, he hasn't scored a goal in 10 straight postseason games -- but at least last June he was blanketed in hardware as he accepted both the Stanley Cup and the Conn Smythe Trophy from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.

Blackhawks hoping Game 2 history repeats itself

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

"We were up in Game 2 last year and I don't know if we wanted it too bad, but we made a few mistakes and it cost us the game. We've got to stay even, and that's the difference this year. When we have the lead, we know we can play the right away and not make any mistakes. That's a good feeling." -- Daniel Sedin

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- With his face looking slightly toward the floor inside the visitor's dressing room, Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane spoke emphatically enough late Wednesday night to show you that his head wasn't down.

"We can play with these guys, we feel pretty confident we can," Kane said following Chicago's 2-0 loss to Vancouver in Game 1. "I know a lot of people are probably counting us out, but we know we can play better than we did (Wednesday) night."

History is on the Blackhawks side heading into Game 2 Friday at Rogers Arena (10 p.m. ET, CBC, VERSUS, RDS), but how much it matters remains to be seen.

Pisani gets his chance with Kopecky sidelined

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Game 2 against Vancouver on Friday will mark Chicago forward Fernando Pisani's first playoff game since Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final.

Pisani, a healthy scratch against the Canucks in Game 1 Wednesday, is getting his opportunity Friday due to Tomas Kopecky's upper-body injury. Kopecky suffered the injury late in the first period of Game 1 when he was hit into the corner boards by Canucks' defenseman Sami Salo. He's listed as day-to-day.

"It's been a long time for me, so I'm just excited to get back into it and hopefully it works out," Pisani said.

Pisani had a magical run with the Oilers in 2006, scoring 14 goals, including three on the power play and one shorthanded, in 24 games. He's hoping he can prove his performance five years ago was not a fluke.

Canucks need to pick their spots better

Dhiren Mahiban - Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- A lot was made after Game 1 about the Vancouver Canucks setting the physical tone, out-hitting the Chicago Blackhawks 47-21 in their 2-0 win. However, the Canucks know they have to pick their spots a bit better in Game 2 Friday night at Rogers Arena.

"You get yourself in trouble when you go looking for hits and we had a few times (Wednesday), their forwards have their head up, they're good skilled players," said defenseman Keith Ballard, whose hit on Tomas Kopecky on a harmless looking play sidelined the forward for Game 2 with what the Blackhawks are calling an upper-body injury. "They make it hard to get contact on them, but we have to make sure we're in control.

"By no means is anyone going to lay off the physical play."

The likes of Dan Hamhuis, Alexander Edler and Kevin Bieksa were caught stepping up looking for a big open-ice hit, only to miss their Blackhawks target, and get caught out of position.

Hawks need to create more traffic in Game 2

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- When Roberto Luongo can respond to a question about seeing the puck with an almost defiant, "who do you think you're talking to" type of answer, it's safe to assume that the Canucks' goalie is feeling as confident as ever.

"I've been seeing the puck well for four months, bud," Luongo said with a swagger inside Vancouver's dressing room after he stopped 32 shots in a 2-0 Game 1 victory on Wednesday.

The Blackhawks know they can't let that continue in Game 2 Friday (10 p.m. ET, Versus, CBC, RDS).

How they go about shielding Luongo's vision is simple and falls in line to the old formula for playoff success: Get pucks to the net, get traffic in front, cause confusion, frustrate the goalie.

Bolland tries to stay positive amid concussion

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

VANCOUVER -- Chicago center Dave Bolland is doing everything he can to stay positive as he tries to recover from a concussion, even going as far to speak with Blackhawks mental skills coach James F. Gary about keeping negativity out of his mind.

Bolland, though, has not been cleared for contact yet and didn't make it sound like he was anywhere close when he met with reporters outside the Blackhawks dressing room at Rogers Arena on Thursday.

"It's awareness," Bolland said. "Your awareness is the big one. Just playing 2-on-2 out there with the guys, you're still looking around and you're not sure where the guy is or where he's coming from. That's probably the big one, my awareness. That's one I have to be cautious about."
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