Blackhawks center Dave Bolland feeling much better

Written By Sun-Times Wire Posted: 04/08/2011, 11:35am

DETROIT — For weeks, coach Joel Quenneville’s answer regarding Dave Bolland and his concussion was “status quo.”

That’s no longer the case.

The pesky center has made considerable progress as he recovers from a concussion suffered March 9 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“[Bolland] is progressing at a different pace than we saw before, which is encouraging” Quenneville said Friday before the Hawks faced the rival Red Wings in a crucial game at Joe Louis Arena.

Bolland, who has been doing off-ice conditioning, skated in Chicago Friday. It was the first time he took the ice since suffering the concussion when he was elbowed in the back of the head by defenseman Pavel Kubina.

“He’s really progressed in the last couple days.” Quenneville said.

While it’s unlikely that Bolland plays Sunday against the Red Wings at the United Center, it’s still encouraging news for the Hawks, especially if they make the playoffs.

The Hawks got a boost from Patrick Sharp when he returned from his knee injury Wednesday against the St. Louis Blues.

It will take Bolland some time to catch up to game speed and regain his stride, especially after missing 13 games and more than a month. But the Hawks have struggled to fill his role since his injury. Having him in the lineup will be a plus.