Cross Checks: Brandon Bollig

Friday Fun: Stickhandling and Twitter rants

October, 4, 2013
For all of you fantasy owners who started Pekka Rinne last night (three goals in the first 9:45. Ouch!), here is a little something to brighten your day. This is what made us laugh this week:

Bollig's stickhandling
You don't have to be a hockey fan to be impressed by Patrick Kane's ridiculous stickhandling in this video. The only time I come close to showing that much hand-eye coordination is when I'm fast forwarding my DVR. This first clip alone is worth watching.

But that isn't why we are here. We are here because of Brandon Bollig. His spoof of Kane is hilarious. Yes, the video was posted earlier than this week, but it is too good to not share.

Twitter Rant
Hockey players are just like you and I. They put their pants on one leg at a time, and they get angry when their Internet stops working and unplugging the router for 30 seconds doesn't fix the problem.

Erik Karlsson had issues with his Internet service and went to the Twitters to vent his frustration.

"I hate BELL! Paying way to much for way to little. I thought it was 2013 not 1999. Omg figure something out please."

"Perfect!!! sat on the phone for 2 hours trying to figure out why my internet is not working and the supervisor hangs up the phone. Classy."

"I'm happy to pay for whatever as long as it's working. But why pay when things never work, as I said it's 2013. Figure it out!"

Insert problem: Bell owns the naming rights to the Bell Sensplex and the HD screen at the Canadian Tire Centre.

Yeah, those tweets were deleted by the next day. So, many thanks to the Ottawa Citizen and the Ottawa Sun for copying them before they were deleted. I'm sure Mr. Karlsson is also very appreciative.

What mad you laugh this week? Send them to me @sarahgold8.

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins were still contemplating Monday what to do about a fourth line that has been lost in the shuffle during the Stanley Cup finals.

For the most part, the fourth unit in the morning skate was Kaspars Daugavins, Rich Peverley and Shawn Thornton, the three guys who ended up there late in Game 2. But I’m not sure Bruins coach Claude Julien is married to it. Carl Soderberg may also be an option on that line.

Julien said he was still considering his options and wasn’t 100 percent sure. I suspect he’s contemplating the possibility of Soderberg as a countermeasure to the Chicago Blackhawks deciding to bring back Viktor Stalberg for Game 3. Stalberg was scratched the opening two games in favor of Brandon Bollig.

Stalberg, who brings more skill but less physicality than Bollig, skated on the fourth line with Marcus Kruger and Michael Frolik at the Hawks’ morning skate.

If Soderberg does come in, I’m guessing it’s for Daugavins.

What’s been interesting in this series is that the Blackhawks have rolled four lines more consistently than the Bruins, and that's usually a staple for Boston. But since a season-ending injury to valuable checking center Gregory Campbell in the last round, the Bruins’ bottom six has been a bit in flux.

Julien found some gold midway through Game 2 when he put Chris Kelly between Daniel Paille and Tyler Seguin, with the newly formed third line scoring the tying and overtime goals. That unit stayed together at the morning skate Monday.

Clearly, there wasn’t much confidence in what became a new fourth line during Game 2, Daugavins-Peverley-Thornton, as each played sparingly. Some of that was because the Hawks had the last line change and coach Joel Quenneville often tried to put out his second line, centered by Michal Handzus (between Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane), whenever Julien had his fourth line on the ice. It’s a matchup the Bruins' coach obviously wanted no part of.

The reason the Hawks could afford to try to get that matchup is that Quenneville has no problem using Frolik and Kruger on a fourth line against Boston’s top lines.

Now that the series has shifted to Boston, however, it’s Julien who is armed with the last line changes for Games 3 and 4, and that will afford him chances to better control the matchups and perhaps get his fourth line out there a bit more with more protection.

“There's no doubt it makes it a little bit easier,” Julien said. “Doesn't mean it's going to happen all the time, but it certainly is a lot easier. Joel's a pretty good coach, smart coach. When he senses something, he'll take advantage of it.

“I had to be extra careful in Chicago with that. But, again, tonight hopefully it's a little easier. Nonetheless, we're in the finals here, you got to do what you got to do. Sometimes you may play guys a little bit more, but they're capable of handling the ice time.”