The Blackhawks practiced today and the news was better than expected when it was announced that Dave Bolland and Ray Emery should be ready to dress and be in the lineup for Game 1 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals.
Dave Bolland has been out since injuring his groin at the end of the season. The updates have been close for Bolland since the season ending loss to the St Louis Blues. Bolland has always been a playoff gamer from the 2011 playoffs the Hawks came so close from overcoming a 3-0 hole, to his most annoying self in the Blackhawks run to the Stanley Cup in 2010 when he helped shut down every opponents top lines from Sedin twins to Joe Thornton. Bolland sometimes gets lost during the regular season or hurt which he was this year missing 13 of the 48 games in this shortened season. Getting Bolland back will force Joel Quenneville to shuffle lines but even though he was in full shuffle mode today at practice there is no telling where everyone will end up when Game 1 gets started.
Ray Emery tweaked an earlier injury and was not able to suit up for the first round of the playoffs. This made Coach Q’s decision for #1 goalie elementary. Corey Crawford responded going 4-1 in the first round with a 1.32 Goals Against Average and a .950 save percentage. Crawford has cemented the top goalie spot, but I’m sure Hawks fans will feel better with Ray Emery in the back-up role as the playoff get deeper than Henrik Karlsson wearing the baseball cap on the end of the bench.
All hands on deck for the Hawks leading toward the Conference Semi-finals! Where do you think Bolland should end up when Game 1 begins?
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