While Bollig likes the idea of having an expanded offensive role this season and was happy to discuss the goal he scored in the Blackhawks’ scrimmage Monday at the United Center, he understands he’s on the ice mainly for one reason -- to be an enforcer.
“It’s no secret I’m not necessarily here to do that,” Bollig said of scoring. “It’s an added bonus if you score goals here and there, which I definitely like to do.
“I don’t think fighting will ever go away from the game completely. I’m more than willing to do that part of it.”
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is also a believer in having an enforcer on his team. He utilized Bollig and Jamal Mayers in that role last season. With Mayers now gone and no one else around to fill that hole, Bollig is almost certain of a roster spot to knock people around coming out of the preseason.
“I think in today's game, I think [Bollig is] that guy that can play, and he has that element of toughness that everyone is looking for," Quenneville said Friday. "That one-dimensional tough guy, that role, is evaporating from our game. You got to be able to play. You got to play against good players. You got to be comfortable and predictable with the puck. I thought his game last year filled that niche for us real well.”
Bollig’s numbers last season didn’t reflect any offensive success -- he had zero points in 25 games -- but Quenneville thought he saw progress in Bollig’s game. With Bollig scoring a goal Monday and another one Friday at Notre Dame, Quenneville is hopeful Bollig can provide something extra this season.
“When you got finish and production in that role, it’s a bonus,” Quenneville said. “But I expect him, with his shot and offensive recognition, that he should be more productive than he was last year.”
Bollig joked about his goal Friday on Twitter. He wrote, “Was highly confused as to why I scored in the scrimmage today Then I realized its Friday the 13th.”
Bollig was more serious about scoring with the media Monday. He scored on a one-timer from the slot during the scrimmage. He knows that if he can provide other elements aside from being a physical force, he might be in the lineup more consistently.
“There’s other parts of my game I like to work on and improve,” Bollig said. “Those are the things that are going to expand my role and expand my ice time and things like that. I’m happy to do the fighting part of it but also work on everything else that helps you increase your ice time.”