Dave Bolland may not be on the trading block, but he didn’t help the outcry for a center to man the second line with his play last night. Specifically, with the Hawks having some momentum in the third period in a 1-1 game Dave Bolland breaks in and is on the doorstep when somehow he doesn’t shoot the puck but he tries a behind the back pass that gets deflected. Minutes later the Ducks score and close out the Hawks 2-1 at the United Center.
A true scoring threat at worst shoots the puck at that point and at best gives the Hawks a 2-1 lead. Bolland has been underwhelming as the #2 center with injuries not helping to himself and Patrick Sharp. That is not to excuse him for his inability to get pucks in the net especially when he has the chance to give the Hawks the lead. When you are on the same line with a player like Kane with 42 points your stat line should be better than 5 goals and 7 assists. This kind of play had Twitter on edge last night from get rid of Bolland to not going to be surprised when he’s moved by Wednesday at the trade deadline.
The problem with moving Bolland is that he’s ideal as a #3 center and a great shutdown defensive player in the playoffs, but his faceoff percentage continues to drop and if his confidence offensively is shaken he cannot be out there with Patrick Kane anymore. The Hawk weakness is at the center position but after watching guys for over 30 games people start feeling attached to them even it if really isn’t in the teams best interest long term. The question really is whether Stan will make a move and how much do teams like the Dallas Stars want for the likes of Derek Roy or the Capitals and Mike Ribeiro. This weakness will come back to bite them in the playoffs like it has the past two years if a move doesn’t happen by Wednesday.
Bolland might not be changing teams but if the Hawks are serious come playoff time he needs to be changing lines and move back to the role that helped lead to a Stanley Cup in 2010, and that is defensive center and not trying to be a fancy passer when goals are what is needed at that time.
What do you think? Did last night highlight the already glaring need for a center at the trade deadline? Or without Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa in the lineup are fans expecting too much from the Hawks lineup?
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