The Chicago Blackhawks will be another man short for the next little while.
Bottom-six grinder Brandon Bollig has been suspended for two games for a hit from behind on Minnesota Wild defenceman Keith Ballard. Bollig was given a two-minute penalty for boarding, while Ballard did not return to the game.
Hockey Night in Canada I-Desk host Andi Petrillo was among the first to Tweet the news, along with TVA Sports reporter Renaud Lavoie.
Chicago's Brandon Bollig has been suspended for the first time in his 3yr NHL career. He gets 2 games.
— Andi Petrillo (@andipHNIC) May 10, 2014
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) May 10, 2014
Here’s the official video from the Department of Player Safety, one of the first decisions made by new league disciplinarian Stephane Quintal.
The 27-year-old has been used sparingly by coach Joel Quenneville in the playoffs, not registering a point in nine games so far while playing over 10 minutes just once, Game 1 against St. Louis, which went to triple overtime.
Bollig becomes the 14th player suspended for boarding this season, counting regular season and preseason. However, Bollig does not forfeit any salary for a playoff suspension, the third issued during the playoffs after Blackhawks teammate Brent Seabrook, and Minnesota forward Matt Cooke.
Bollig’s suspension likely means Quenneville will put Jeremy Morin back into the lineup. Though Morin isn’t as big as Bollig, he does provide more of a scoring touch in the bottom six for the defending champions, which could be a jolt for a lineup limited to two goals in the last two games after opening with nine in the first two games of the series.