VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The Blackhawks need Dave Bolland and Troy Brouwer. Having them healthy and in the lineup is a must if they hope to defeat the Vancouver Canucks in the first round.
Before the Hawks left for Vancouver, coach Joel Quenneville said he was “optimistic” both Bolland (concussion) and Brouwer (shoulder) would play in the series.
Bolland and Brouwer practiced with the Hawks Tuesday at Rogers Arena in their final tuneup before Game 1 Wednesday. Neither has been cleared for contact.
Bolland was a major reason why the Hawks eliminated the Canucks last season, scoring big goals and pestering the Sedin twins. He hasn’t played since March 9 when he was elbowed in the head by Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Pavel Kubina.
“[Bolland] is a special player,” Quenneville said. “He means a lot to our team, gives us a lot of options as far as checking match-ups and special teams.
“We’ll see how he is. He made major progress this week. We’ll continue to monitor. It’s been positive recently. It was a tough road over the last month or so, but things changed quickly. I don’t have anything more to report or prognosticate, but we hope that he’s able to be a part of the first round.”