"It's a sign of frustration," said the Blackhawks center. "Everybody gets mad. If there is always a guy on you and [he's] always picking at your stick and taking the puck from you, everybody gets mad, right? Nobody likes a guy doing that."
The combination of Bolland's shut-down line along with the play of rookie goalie Antti Niemi again proved too much for the Sharks, who fell, 4-2, at HP Pavilion Tuesday night. The Blackhawks hold a 2-0 series lead as the best-of-seven Western Conference finals shift to Chicago's United Center.
Niemi didn't have to replicate his 44-save performance from Game 1 to lead the Blackhawks to a record-tying seventh consecutive road win, although he was tested early.
"Their main goal was to score at the start and they came very hard," said Niemi, who made 25 saves in Game 2. "I think they got a little frustrated when they couldn't score early in the first. ... It would be a bad situation for us if they were able to get one or two [goals early] to get more energy from the crowd."
Along with the shot total slumping in Game 2, the quality of the scoring opportunities was lacking, especially over the final two periods.
"We had a lot guys laying down and blocking shots," Blackhawks winger Patrick Sharp said. "Our forwards were coming back through the neutral zone and that allowed our defense to clog things up at our blue line and they weren't able to generate much offense."
Patrick Marleau scored the Sharks' two goals, the first on the power play that came in the second period with the Blackhawks already up 3-0. His second goal, the final marker of the game, came with four and a half minutes left in regulation and it didn't occur with Bolland's line -- which has Kris Versteeg and Andrew Ladd on the wings -- on the ice.
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville tossed Bolland at the Sharks' top line with regularity, although they could be matched up more when Chicago gets the last change before the whistle that goes to home team. It's a strategy that Quennville couldn't use much of the season as Bolland sat for 43 regular-season games due to back surgery in November.
"Last year that line was very dangerous, very effective in a lot of ways," Quenneville said. "This year he was going through some injury issues, trying to get his health and his game to that level all year. I think he's achieved that in these playoffs. [It's] nice to see him get back to that top level and welcome the challenge of taking on some top guys."