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updated: 5/10/2014 8:35 PM

Bollig draws 2-game suspension for hit on Ballard

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  • The Hawks' Brandon Bollig, here battling for the puck with the Wild's Jonas Brodin in Game 3 of the second-round Western Conference playoff series, will sit the next two games after being suspended for boarding Keith Ballard from behind in Friday's Game 4.

      The Hawks' Brandon Bollig, here battling for the puck with the Wild's Jonas Brodin in Game 3 of the second-round Western Conference playoff series, will sit the next two games after being suspended for boarding Keith Ballard from behind in Friday's Game 4.
    Associated Press

 
 

Blackhawks forward Brandon Bollig's hit from behind on Minnesota's Keith Ballard late in the second period Friday proved costly for both players involved.

The NHL on Saturday handed down a two-game suspension for Bollig, who was whistled for boarding on the play.

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Ballard, who went crashing into the boards from the hit deep in his own zone, left the game and did not return. The veteran defenseman did not make the trip to Chicago for Sunday's Game 5 and was listed as day to day with an upper-body injury by Wild coach Mike Yeo on Saturday.

In its video recap of the play and subsequent suspension, the NHL's Patrick Burke said that it was boarding by Bollig, who "drives into (Ballard) from behind, causing him to violently impact the boards and glass."

Bollig had neither been fined nor previously suspended by the league.

Getting better:

The condition of Andrew Shaw (lower body) is improving, according to Hawks coach Joel Quenneville, but the gritty forward will still remain sidelined for a fourth consecutive game.

"He's progressing," Quenneville said. "I think he felt better the last couple of days. It was an encouraging sign."

Shaw suffered an apparent knee injury after a hit by Minnesota's Clayton Stoner early in Game 1 of the series and has not returned to action.

How do they do it?

First there's Hawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson taking pucks off seemingly every body part but never missing a shift.

Then on Friday, Marcus Kruger was on the wrong end of a Jared Spurgeon elbow in the second period, struggled to make it to the bench and the locker room, but somehow returned to the ice to finish out the game.

What's with these guys?

"Those Swedes are pretty tough guys," Joel Quenneville said. "He (Kruger) reminds me of Hammer in a lot of ways, whether it's a shot block or a big hit. They're very comparable in the way they get through it and fight through it as well."

Kruger, not surprisingly, downplayed the whole thing.

"If you can play, you can play, right?" he said. "I was fortunate to come back and felt good in the third. Yeah, happy I could play the rest of that game."

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