Blackhawks winger Viktor Stalberg was still in a white jersey, still skating outside the top four lines at Friday's practice, meaning he'll likely be a healthy scratch again in Saturday's Game 2 against the Detroit Wings.
"It's frustrating, obviously," Stalberg said. "Can't really make it too much about yourself, it's about winning games right now, and we won. It was a good start to the series, that's what it's about right now."
Stalberg shed a little light on to what his benching's about. While Hawks coach Joel Quenneville wouldn't get into specifics, Stalberg said he was told to be more intense and play harder.
"It's nothing you've never heard before," Stalberg said. "Most guys, when they're not playing, get to hear that. Nothing too different, but he wants me to produce more and be more effective out there. Hopefully I can get back and I'll try to make a difference."
Stalberg denied reports earlier this week that he complained about his lack of power play time in the first-round series against the Minnesota Wild.
"[I'll] channel my inner Bryzgalov: Check your sources better, I guess," he said with a laugh, a reference to Philaelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov recent criticism of the media. "No, that was not accurate."
With Dave Bolland re-entering the lineup and moving back to the third line occupied by Stalberg, Andrew Shaw and Bryan Bickell, and Quenneville not particularly pleased with the team's performance against the Wild, Stalberg made it sound like he was simply the odd-man out. Stalberg had one assist (in Game 1) and was a plus-2 in the Wild series.
"I felt pretty good in the first series, the puck didn't bounce maybe my way toward the end," he said. "But I think we were pretty effective as a line. I think he wasn't happy with the team's performance, and he chose to take me out of the lineup. That's how it is, I'll live with that. Obviously it's frustrating, but I'll do what I can to support the guys and to be back in the lineup as soon as I get the chance. I'll try to make a difference when I'm back in there."
Stalberg will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, but he said the benching won't affect his future, saying it's just part of the business.
"No, I don't think so, I think this is part of it," he said. "Whether I'm here next year or not, we'll see what happens. That's something we'll talk after the year. It's nothing I'm really too concerned about at this point. We'll figure that one out after hopefully we hoist the Cup here."