Bollig happy to play villain for Hawks

May, 21, 2014
May 21
1:07
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Brandon Bollig enjoys being disliked by opposing players and fans.

If standing in front of Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick for a few seconds longer after a whistle than the Kings would prefer will irritate them or if they choose to go out of their way to engage him, he's all for it. He's OK with being the villain.

[+] EnlargeBrandon Bollig
Cal Sport Media/AP ImagesThe Hawks' Brandon Bollig embraces his role as the villain.
"It's fun," Bollig said. "Obviously if you're going to draw a penalty or two and put your team on the power play, especially if you're going to score, it's great. It makes it more fun when that happens. But obviously for me every night, just go out there and play hard and whatever happens, happens, I guess.

"[If they're bothered by me, it] means the team is focusing on you more than kind of the job at hand. I'll take that any day."

Bollig affected Game 1 with that type of behavior by accident. He stood in front of Quick after a whistle during the first period, and the Kings began pushing him away. Kings defenseman Alec Martinez approached Bollig from the side and shoved him. Bollig lost his footing and fell to the ice, and Martinez was whistled for roughing.

A devilish grin came across Bollig's face after the fall. To add to his delight, the Blackhawks scored on the power play and went up 1-0.

Kings coach Darryl Sutter wouldn't say that Bollig dove on the play, but he hinted that he thought the incident wasn't deserving of a penalty.

"There was one scrum," Sutter said. "The one scrum there was, if we were moaning about calls today, the one scrum there was that we got called on, too bad they couldn't review it."

The 6-foot-2, 223-pound Bollig was aware some people believed he went down easily and may have done some Hollywood acting to draw the penalty. He denied it.

"Yeah, I thought I had a lot of people who thought I dove," Bollig said. "That's never happened in my career, nor will I ever. I would agree I went down pretty easy, but I caught an edge once he pushed me. It was in no way diving, but obviously it ended up working out that we ended up on the power play and we scored. It worked out perfectly."

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville has played Bollig more this season because he's been pleased with Bollig's development as a skater and defender, but he still likes that Bollig can annoy other teams and be physical with them.

"I think your team has different kinds of players," Quenneville said. "Everybody's got a role and a job description that you look to fulfill. It's not an easy job providing some toughness to our team. But I think he added some dimensions to his line, to our team, that not a lot of tough guys add. You're comfortable with him checking, defensively responsible, blocking shots, but bring some physicality that our team can use sometimes. But I think being responsible defensively really adds that element to our team."
Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Patrick Kane
PTS GOALS AST +/-
36 16 20 9
OTHER LEADERS
GoalsP. Kane 16
AssistsP. Kane 20
+/-K. Versteeg 15
GAAC. Crawford 2.00