CHICAGO | With the need for more brawn at the expense of speed and style against the Boston Bruins, Brandon Bollig was pulled out of mothballs to start on the fourth line for Game 1 Wednesday with Marcus Kruger and Michael Frolik.
Winger Bollig, closest the Hawks have had to a real bruiser, has been inactive since Game 3 of the quarterfinals against the Minnesota Wild. He had been on and off the active roster all season, and went up and back to AHL Rockford, where he played in 35 games. He was in 25 Hawks regular-season games, but lead the team with 51 penalty minutes.
Bollig replaced the embattled Viktor Stalberg on the active roster. Perceived as offering up too much soft, ineffectual play, the speedy Stalberg has grabbed some bench for the second time in the postseason.
“All year long, whether the situation or the team, I think he's pretty smart on knowing what he brings to our team, and to the table,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said of Bollig. “We want him to play hard, smart, within the whistles, bring that element.”
Quenneville said the Kruger-Frolik fourth line hasn’t just existed to hold serve or check opponents. Bollig is not being added just to make it a physical line.
“You're comfortable with him in your own end,” he said. “Faceoffs as well. You have an overall game that we like. I think he can bring an element to our team.”
Strangers in the Final: Despite being Original Six teams, the Hawks and Bruins have never met in the Stanley Cup Final.
The Bruins are 5-1 against the Hawks in previous playoff meetings, the last of which was in 1978. The Bruins swept the Hawks 4-0.
The last meeting between the teams was the Bruins’ 3-2 shootout victory on Oct. 15, 2011. All-time, the Bruins had a 261-235-82 (latter figure ties) edge over the Hawks.
Eight men not out from 2010: Of the 21 Stanley Cup champion Hawks of 2010, only eight are still on the team: Dave Bolland, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith, Patrick Kane, Brent Seabrook, Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews.
The departed were Nick Boynton, TroyBrouwer, Adam Burish, Dustin Byfuglien, Brian Campbell, Ben Eager, Jordan Hendry, Tomas Kopecky, Andrew Ladd, John Madden, Antti Niemi, Brent Sopel and Kris Versteeg.
Lions in (Hawks) summer: The three-ton bronze lions at the Art Institute of Chicago’s main entrance on Michigan Avenue were fitted with custom-made Hawks helmets starting Wednesday.
The lions often sport the gear related to hot sports teams. A gift of Mrs. Henry Field, the lions was installed in 1894.