Bolland, Emery inching closer to returns
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A pair of Chicago Blackhawks returned to practice Monday as the team prepares for its Game 4 matchup against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday in a Western Conference Quarterfinal at Xcel Energy Center (9:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS2).
Forward Dave Bolland and goaltender Ray Emery took part in the entire practice but both said they will not be ready to play Tuesday night. Both are inching closer and could be ready to jump back into the lineup when the series shifts back to Chicago's United Center for Game 5 on Thursday.
Bolland missed the final three games of the regular season and all three games of the series against the Wild thus far with a groin injury, one which Bolland says is improving every day.
"Yeah, I feel like I'm getting close," Bolland said. "Right now, still day-to-day."
"He's been a very effective guy for us in the playoffs," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "He usually takes his game to that level of intensity."
Emery, who re-injured a lower-body injury Apr. 24 against Edmonton, is also close but will be unavailable Tuesday night. Carter Hutton will serve as backup goaltender to Crawford.
"Felt good, every day has been better, it's kind of a gradual thing you gotta take care of, but I'm excited to get back on the ice," Emery said.
Emery said he hopes to be available for games "as soon as possible." Chicago, which gave Corey Crawford off Monday to rest, would like to have Emery back soon as well. He went 17-1-0 during the regular season with a sparkling 1.94 goals-against average and .922 save percentage.