A lot of the recognition for the Chicago Blackhawks
' recent success has gone to captain Jonathan Toews
, Viktor Stalberg
and impressive rookies Andrew Shaw
and Jimmy Hayes
Brushed aside a little is the play of Dave Bolland
, who's done a lot more in the past six games than just disturbing the other team's top line by being a puck-hounding pest. He's also scoring goals and setting up teammates for good scoring opportunities -- skills he showed in abundance while playing in junior hockey.
Bolland has 6 goals and 3 assists in the last six games and now has 14 goals and 11 assists in 43 games this season. He's currently centering the third line with Andrew Brunette
on the left side and the 6-foot-6, 221-pound Hayes on the right.
"Bolly's game has been trending in the right direction," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville
said. "When he has [pace and speed] to his game, he's so effective in a lot of ways offensively and defensively. Things are going in for him right now and that I like that line, as far as what they’re doing offensively -- and defensively we haven't had too many shifts in our own end."
In other Blackhawks-related news, injured forward Patrick Sharp
is still in the holding pattern of his recovery from an upper-body injury (hand/wrist) that has the Hawks projecting a potential return to the lineup at some point during a trip to Western Canada following the All-Star Game at the end of January.