GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The whispers have already started.
Is that Chicago Blackahwks trio the best third line in hockey? It was a question asked of Bolland after the 5-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday.
“As of right now we could be,” Bolland said with a smile. “We’ll keep it that way. We’re just going to keep on rolling, play hard and play our game.”
Bolland knows what the rest of us see: chemistry. Joel Quenneville sees it as well. It’s the only line he has had written in pen since the summer.
“That line has always been good,” Quenneville said. “We like their role and basically the accomplishments they get done on a game-to-game basis..They form a nice line.”
The “always” Quenneville is referring to is last year’s playoffs. The trio took off when Bolland returned from a concussion after missing the first three games against the Vancouver Canucks. They haven’t stopped producing. Tuesday’s goal in the third period by the threesome was a beauty.
“We all did a great job,” Bolland said. “Just from me to Fro [Frolik] to Bick [Bickell]. Fro made a good heads up play. All three of us just click. With Bick with his big body and with Fro with his good vision and good speed.”
But as been stated many times, Bolland is the glue. To the line and maybe the team. He was put with Marty Havlat and Andrew Ladd three years ago and the line took off in the playoffs, then came a Stanley Cup win behind stellar play from Bolland, Ladd and Kris Versteeg.
Now the current threesome is doing it from the start of the season.
And it was Bolland’s shorthanded goal that sealed the game. A steal and a blast to put the icing on the cake.
“Huge,” Joel Quenneville said. “It’s still a one goal game. They get a power play and then another power play. But the shortys can really change the momentum of the game. Getting that insurance goal at that time was huge for us.”
The Hawks are 3-0-1 with Bolland in the lineup. And his wingers are better for it.
• Marian Hossa played for the first time since last Thursday and declared his upper body injury OK.
“We’ll see how it feels after the flight to Denver,” he cautioned.
• Jonathan Toews scored a rebound goal and won 17 of 21 faceoffs.
• Duncan Keith was a team best plus-3 and on the ice for every Hawks score.
• Keith and his wife Kelly-Rae will introduce his new charity foundation on October 26. “Keith Relief” will be dedicated to alleviating the financial and emotional burdens of families and individuals suffering from medical crisis, and will assist families in and around the Chicagoland area.