The Chicago Blackhawks’ practice lines Tuesday indicated a change may be coming, and head coach Joel Quenneville confirmed as much Wednesday prior to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Quenneville will turn to big Brandon Bollig for Game 1 against the Bruins, as Bollig will be inserted into the lineup in place of Viktor Stalberg. Bollig hasn’t played since Game 3 of Chicago’s first-round series with the Minnesota Wild.
Bollig stands at 6-foot-3 and weighs 223 pounds, so he does give the Hawks an element of size and toughness. He’s not afraid to mix it up, and he’ll certainly throw his weight around if needed. That’s about all he’s done for his entire career, though. In 50 career games counting both the regular season and playoffs, Bollig has just one point, a goal in last year’s playoffs.
Bollig is expected to skate alongside Marcus Kruger and Michael Frolik on the club’s fourth line.
“All year long, that line, when they did play, had a purpose,” Quenneville said after Wednesday’s morning skate. “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.”
Bollig averaged just 8:01 of ice time in 25 games this season.