Chicago Blackhawks Must Keep Brandon Bollig Out Of the Lineup

By Sean Sarcu
Brandon Bollig Chicago Blackhawks
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Bollig had a strong first half of the 2013-14 NHL season, but he has been one of the least effective players on the Chicago Blackhawks‘ roster during the second half and playoffs.

A dirty hit on Minnesota Wild defenseman Keith Ballard earned Bollig a two-game suspension for Games 5 and 6 of Chicago’s second round series, which turned out to be a blessing. Bollig’s departure from the lineup opened up a spot for Peter Regin, who played an instrumental role in several huge Chicago goals in Games 5 of 6 — both Blackhawks wins.

Speaking of playing a role in goals, Bollig hasn’t picked up a point in 27 straight games stretching back to the regular season. Joel Quenneville has apparently lost trust in him, choosing to keep his ice time at five minutes or less in most of Chicago’s playoff games.

When Andrew Shaw comes back, the largely unimpressive Joakim Nordstrom will likely swap out. The question thus becomes whether or not to keep Bollig out of the lineup as well now that his suspension has been served.

The answer to that question is an obvious one. Chicago relies heavily on speed and puck skills, two things Regin (who Bollig would probably supplant in the lineup) has in spades and Bollig lacks entirely. Further, it doesn’t make much sense to play a guy who Quenneville appears not to trust anymore.

Still, Quenneville has made stranger decisions before. The Blackhawks are clearly at their best with Bollig out of the lineup, but it remains to be seen whether those in charge feel the same way.

Sean Sarcu is a Chicago Blackhawks writer for Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.

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