Brandon Bollig: First time for everything
CHICAGO -- A first NHL goal is a lifelong memory for any hockey player. It's that much sweeter when that first goal comes in the Stanley Cup Playoffs?
Check Brandon Bollig's blood-sugar level, then, for he scored goal No. 1 of his career in Game 2 of the Blackhawks' Western Conference Quarterfinal series with Phoenix.
"That it came in the playoffs and it tied the game up is an amazing feeling," Bollig said of scoring the Hawks' second goal in Saturday's 4-3 overtime win in Glendale, Ariz. "It was great to see the activity on my phone from people happy for me."
Bollig, an undrafted free agent signed by the Hawks two years ago, played 18 regular-season games and collected neither a goal nor an assist. Considered an enforcer, he plays that role well, but knows he'll have to show more, or the next young kid who comes along will take his spot.
"Obviously what got me here was that physical side, that enforcer-type role, but yeah, I think what's going to make me stick is bringing more to the game than just that," he said. "That's what I'm trying to prove."
Timely goals in playoff games will do that. For Bollig, just breathing before Game 1 was a triumph.
"Being a part of (the playoffs), I almost had to have the doc check my heart rate, it was so high," Bollig said. "It's definitely fun to be a part of games like that. You get a lot more amped up."Whatever happens next, he'll have both the memory and evidence of it. The puck he got past Mike Smith will be mounted on a plaque for him.