By Connor McKnight–
Not to get all biblical or anything, but Dave Bolland breathed life into the Blackhawks Tuesday night. In his first game back from a concussion, Bolland posted a goal and three assists in the Hawks 7-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks.
“There was no rust to dust off,” Bolland said after the game. “Normally your first game back is a tough one but I think this one for me, tonight, went well.”
While Bolland may not have had any rust-dusting to do Tuesday night, he certainly had plenty of maintenance to do during his time off the ice. Having not played since March 9th, Bolland had to pass a battery of tests Tuesday morning to clear him for play. Prior to that, however, Bolland had to overcome something a bit more trying.
“It was pretty dreadful,” Bolland said of his recovery period. “[I went] through a period of time of depression … [it was] really tough. I can feel for [Sidney Crosby] and a few of the other guys who are out right now. It’s a tough process. You never know when you’re going to snap out of that concussion.”
The prescription for concussion is basically dark rooms and solitude. For Bolland, it was the solitude that was the toughest to battle.
“The main thing that I was doing was staying at my house,” Bolland said. “They say the big thing is rest. I think saying at my house was something that they said [to do], but I wasn’t going out. I wasn’t seeing anybody. People would call and see if I wanted to do anything but I just didn’t want to do anything. You do get a little bit of depression.”
Tuesday wasn’t the first time Bolland underwent a round of concussion tests. He said he went through the same routine about a week ago and failed. Still, it was that test and the baseline that it established that let him know there was progress being made—progress that he couldn’t measure on his own inside his house.
So while the Hawks found a spark plug, they still have plenty of hill to climb. Bolland’s return may give the Hawks an extra dimension, but they may need more to come back against the Canucks in Vancouver on Thursday.