Dave Bolland: Antti Niemi was underrated in Blackhawks' 2010 Stanley Cup run


When remembering the Blackhawks’ 2010 title run, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Marian Hossa get most of the attention.

Dave Bolland, a center on that 2010 team, says goaltender Antti Niemi should get more credit for his role in what was the Blackhawks’ first Stanley Cup in 49 years. Bolland shared that with Eddie Olczyk on NBC Sports Chicago’s “Be Chicago” show on Wednesday.

“Cristobal (Huet) was our No. 1 there and things didn’t work out,” Bolland said. “I think Anti kind of slid in there. That one save he made on (Jeff) Carter, he was unbelievable. He stood on his head most nights. There were some nights he got peppered and our defense might not have been there.”

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The save on Carter referenced by Bolland came with 90 seconds left in regulation of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The puck shifted from Niemi’s left to his right and Carter’s shot came while Niemi was still sliding over. He raised his pad up to make the crucial save.

If Niemi doesn’t come up big there, Kane likely doesn’t get a chance to get the overtime winner and the Blackhawks could be staring down a Game 7 on the road.

“I think Anti stepped up a lot of nights and bailed us out sometimes,” Bolland said. “I think he was one of those guys that was under the radar that really stepped up for us.”

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