NEWARK, N.J. (MCT) — Very little has gone the way Brendan Morrison envisioned it this season.
Offseason knee surgery prevented the veteran center from excelling during the early part of the season with the Flames, and things have only gone downhill since the Hawks acquired him in a Jan. 27 trade.
Morrison was a healthy scratch when the Hawks faced the Devils on Tuesday night at the Prudential Center, the 18th time coach Joel Quenneville has gone with a different option. In the nine games Morrison has played for the Hawks, he has no goals or assists and is a minus-4.
“It’s no secret it hasn’t gone the way anybody’s wanted it, me especially,” said Morrison, 36, who the Hawks hoped would help solve their issues at second-line center. “The whole season has been a challenge.
“I still believe I can do the job. If I didn’t think that, I might as well hop on a plane tomorrow and go home.”
With 932 career games on his resume, Morrison knows fortunes can change in a hurry and he still can make an impact with the Hawks.
“This is where we are, the reality of it,” Morrison said. “I have to keep working in practice and put in the time and at some point hope it’s going to pay off. You can’t change what’s happened, so be a professional. I’m not going to let the last little stretch here define me as a player and a person.”
Fight club: Brandon Bollig is settling in as the Hawks’ enforcer. The rookie has dropped the gloves seven times in 13 games and said he uses each bout as a learning tool.
“You learn more and more about certain guys,” said Bollig, who dropped the Predators’ Jordin Tootoo with a left uppercut Sunday. “And then you see stuff they might do that works. You definitely have to take care of the fight as well as learn from who you’re fighting.”
One-timers: Captain Jonathan Toews skated for the eighth consecutive day in Chicago as he recovers from a concussion. ... Rookie center Marcus Kruger returned after missing one game with concussion symptoms.