Brandon Bollig has today been suspended two games by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for boarding the Wild’s Keith Ballard in Game 4 on Friday. As mentioned earlier today, it’s unlikely that Ballard will be traveling with the team to Chicago for Game 5. He’s officially listed as day-to-day with an upper body injury.
Ballard chased a dump into the defensive zone on the play and Bollig wound-up and caught Ballard in the back. Ballard left the game and did not return, while Bollig got a two-minute boarding penalty on the play.
Bollig will be eligible to return in Game 7, should there be one. (Or he’d be eligible to return in Game 1 of the next series should Chicago move to the next round in six games.) This is Bollig’s first career suspension.
That was only Ballard’s second game of the postseason. He was a scratch through the first nine games of the playoffs, replacing Nate Prosser in Game 3 of this round. Replacing Ballard will likely be either Prosser or Jonathon Blum, who was yet to play in the playoffs for the Wild.
Watch a full explanation of Bollig’s suspension in the video below.
Bollig hasn’t had a great playoffs, but this may hurt Chicago more than it appears on the surface. He’s not much of an offensive threat, but Bollig can provided a good physical presence that Chicago has largely lacked in this series. In the four games played so far, the Wild have outhit Chicago 113-62 (44-15 at home). Bollig had seven hits in Game 1 for Chicago. However, he was a scratch in Game 2 and ineffectual in Games 3 and 4, averaging about five minutes of ice time in those.