CHICAGO – Dave Bolland has proved to be a versatile center during six-plus seasons with the Blackhawks.
Put Bolland on the second line, and he can serve as the conductor for a high-caliber offense. Put Bolland on the third line, and he can transform into a defense-first nuisance.
It’s no surprise Bolland prefers the antagonistic role come playoff time.
“This time of year,” Bolland said, “it’s always fun playing that third line and that nitty gritty mode of getting in their face and shutting guys down.”
After missing the Hawks’ first-round series against the Minnesota Wild because of a lower-body injury, Bolland returned to the lineup Wednesday against the Detroit Red Wings for his first playoff game of the season and the 50th of his career. He anchored the third line, which featured teammates Bryan Bickell and Andrew Shaw on the wings.
Bolland said the Hawks’ bottom two lines could help the team rise to the top.
“When we had that Stanley Cup year, it was that third and fourth line of guys that were contributing,” Bolland said. “Those are the big things with the playoffs. It can’t just be your first and second line. It’s got to be all four lines rolling.”
Two-way player: Hawks captain Jonathan Toews was named as a finalist for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, which is given to the league’s best defensive forward.
Toews was one of three finalists along with Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings and Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins. In 47 regular-season games, Toews tied for the league lead with 56 takeaways while winning 59.9 percent of his faceoffs, which was the best mark in the Western Conference.
In 2011, Toews also was a finalist for the Selke Trophy but finished second in the voting to Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks. Previous Hawks players who have won the award include Dirk Graham (1991) and Troy Murray (1986).
The Selke Trophy winner will be announced during the Stanley Cup Final series.
Not bluffing: Hawks forward Viktor Stalberg was listed as a healthy scratch for Game 1 after practicing for the past few days as an extra fifth-line player.
Stalberg, 27, has scored 43 goals in three seasons with the Hawks but has failed to produce during the postseason. He notched one assist in five games against the Wild, and he has scored only one goal in 18 career playoff games.
Jamal Mayers, Brandon Bollig and Sheldon Brookbank joined Stalberg as the Hawks’ notable healthy scratches. Meanwhile, fourth-line forward Daniel Carcillo and defenseman Michal Rozsival remained in the lineup.