Chicago Sun-Times
with Mark Lazerus

Blackhawks' Stalberg benched for Game 1 vs. Red Wings

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Blackhawks winger Viktor Stalberg wasn't happy with his power play time during the first-round series with the Minnesota Wild. Now he's not playing at all against the Detroit Red Wings.

Hawks coach Joel Quenneville declined to go into specifics about why he has benched the speedy third-line right winger for tonight's Game 1. But a source said that Stalberg was at odds with the coaching staff over his role in the first-round series against the Wild. Stalberg had three seconds of power play time in Game 1, 55 seconds in Game 2, and none in the next three games. He averaged 2 minutes, 11 seconds of power play time per game during the season, but had no goals and two assists with the man-advantage in 47 games.

"I had a conversation with him," Quenneville said. "He knows how it stands, what the situation is. We'll leave it at that."

At Wednesday's morning skate, Stalberg was again on the outside of the top four lines. With Dave Bolland back in the lineup at third-line center, Andrew Shaw moved over to Stalberg's spot on the right wing. Daniel Carcillo was skating on the fourth line with Marcus Kruger and Michael Frolik.

After Tuesday's practice -- the third straight in which Stalberg was in the dreaded white jersey, signifying his spot outside the top four lines -- Stalberg had little to say about his demotion. As for his own play in a five-game series win over the Minnesota Wild, in which Stalberg had one assist and a plus-2 rating, Stalberg simply said, "We won 4-1, right? So that's good."

Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said that the team's depth up front makes it a tough lineup to crack, and that someone's always on the outside looking in.

"It doesn't mean we're not conscious of what those guys are doing for this team," Toews said. "It's never an easy thing, but that's what makes us a good team, is we've got some good players that may not be able to play every night."

Quenneville said that Stalberg could still work his way back into the lineup, one way or another, later in the series.

"Absolutely," he said. "Things change in our business quickly, whether it's health or decisions based on play. We'll visit as things go along."

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:

Leave a comment


About the blogger

Mark Lazerus was honored nationally by the Associated Press Sports Editors for three straight years at the Post-Tribune, was named one of the top three columnists in Indiana for three straight years and has won more than 20 statewide writing awards. He has covered Notre Dame for Sun-Times Media, and now covers the Blackhawks.



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mark Lazerus published on May 15, 2013 11:23 AM.

Slay the dragon? Hawks just want to beat the Red Wings was the previous entry in this blog.

Blackhawks' Toews, Red Wings' Datsyuk are Selke finalists is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.