When Toronto Maple Leafs center Dave Bolland lines up across from Canucks captain Henrik Sedin in Vancouver on Saturday, it will mark the renewal of a bitter, storied rivalry.
During his stint with the Chicago Blackhawks, Bolland faced the Canucks in the postseason for three straight years. He was usually matched up as a defensive specialist against Vancouver's top-line, and often frustrated the Sedin twins.
He also got the better of them on the scoreboard, albeit not in terms of territorial play.
"The Sedins are great players," Bolland told the Toronto Star this week. "I played so many games against them in the past. If you let them go for a second or two, they’ll be putting the puck through your legs and in the back of your net. So when we do go in there, we’ve got to be ready for them."
"When you get under guys’ skins, you get them off their games. It’s huge for your team and it’s huge for confidence when you get them off their games."
Bolland also offered a contrite apology when asked to reminisce about that time he used a gendered insult to describe the twins at a fan event two years ago. "
"It wasn’t a smart thing that I did," Bolland admitted. "It was the one mistake I’ve made in my life. Everyone makes them. Things like that happen. It’ll be something I put behind me"