Like countless others, Dave Bolland spent his Sunday afternoon at home, on his "big comfy couch," watching the Blackhawks play the Detroit Red Wings in a thrilling, end-to-end battle between longtime rivals. And like everybody else, Bolland had a tough time getting through it.
"A little nervous," he said.
Of course, the Hawks pulled out the shootout victory in dramatic fashion, extending their season-opening point streak to 22 games. And Bolland couldn't wait to get back on the ice Tuesday night and help out after missing the last five games with an upper-body injury.
"It's never fun when you're sitting out games and seeing all the fun that's going on on the ice," Bolland said Tuesday morning. "It's always disappointing watching it on TV and seeing what's going on. I'm just glad I'm back and ready."
Bolland was injured late in the second period against San Jose on Feb. 22. Bolland has had back problems and a concussion in the past, but neither he nor the team specified what the injury was. Bolland said Tuesday that it was not a concussion.
"I don't think it was anything from my history," he said. "I think it was something else. This game's a hard-hitting game, and you never know what's going to happen. But I don't think it was anything coming back from my history."
When asked if there was a defining blow, Bolland smiled and said: "Probably, I don't know. I can't remember, really. I don't know. I forget."
Bolland, moved up from the checking line to the second line this season, had five goals and two assists in 16 games before the injury. During his absence, Marcus Kruger moved from the fourth line to the second line, centering Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane. Kruger moved back to his usual spot for Tuesday night's game. Kruger, who has carved out a nice role for himself as a penalty-killer this season, enjoyed the stint on the scoring line.
"Of course, it's great to play with those kinds of players, like Kaner and Sharpie, that's exciting," he said. "But for me it doesn't change a thing, really. I have to try to play the same game as I did. That's the key to being successful -- play that two-way game."
Bolland gained a little extra appreciation for the Hawks' record streak by being on the outside looking in, but was happy to be off the couch and on the ice.
"It's been great, even watching them on TV, keeping this streak alive," he said. "Coming back and helping them out is a big thing. [Let's] keep this thing going."