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Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Dave Bolland 'felt good' after practice

By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com

VANCOUVER -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Dave Bolland feels fortunate he might be ready for the playoffs, though he's doubtful for Game 1 as he continues to recover from the effects of a concussion suffered on March 9.

"[A week ago] Sunday was the day I sort of snapped out of it," Bolland said in his first public comments since the injury. "I felt great. I was excited to do stuff in the gym just to get a sweat on. I hadn't done anything in the last three and half or four weeks so that was the day I felt pretty good."

Bolland and injured winger Troy Brouwer practiced with their team on Tuesday as the Hawks prepared to take on the Vancouver Canucks in the opening round of the Western Conference quarterfinals beginning Wednesday.

Brouwer is recovering from a shoulder injury suffered trying to deliver a check in Montreal on April 5.

"It felt great," he said. "For me it felt good. Playoffs are a time you have to play through a few things. For me it's no different. I can only tell the coach how I feel, it's his decision what's going to happen next."

Joel Quenneville was non-committal about either one playing early in the series but didn't rule anything out.

"Both guys did pretty well," Quenneville said about practice. "Both felt well after. We'll have to make some decisions this week. ... We'll visit with that tonight and again tomorrow. We'll do what's best for the team and the players as well. But certainly it changes the thought process from just a couple days ago."

For Bolland, it's been a scary month since getting hit by Tampa Bay's Pavel Kubina. He missed the final 14 games of the regular season.

"Headaches and dizzy and foggy," he said describing his condition. "I couldn't drive, I really couldn't do much. It was just sitting around my house doing nothing. It got pretty boring. Just a walk outside for me was an adventure for me. You do get pretty worried. I'd go to bed at 3 a.m., though I felt tired at 10. I couldn't sleep and wake up every morning wishing I'd snap out of it."

Though going through a prolonged back problem which ended with surgery last season, Bolland says his concussion is the worst injury he's endured.

"It's a drain to your body and a drain to your mind and sort of what do you do in that mode is sort of depressing," he said. "Some guys would want to do something and you just be like 'no, I want to stay in.' It was a tough time. I feel for [Penguins' Sidney] Crosby and some of those other guys. I'm glad I'm over that."

The timing of his recovery couldn't be better for the Hawks. He was the driving force on the defensive end in shutting down the Canucks' high powered offense last postseason. He knows he could have been out longer and feels fortunate he's not.

"It's either luck or something," Bolland declared. "That's all it is."

Jesse Rogers covers the Blackhawks for ESPNChicago.com.