Stalberg was also benched in Game 1 of the series after playing in 47 of 48 regular-season games and in all five of the team’s first-round playoff games. He had nine goals and 14 assists in the regular season and one assist against the Minnesota Wild in the first round.
Dave Bolland replaced Stalberg on the third line in Wednesday’s 4-1 win over the Red Wings. The Blackhawks outshot the Red Wings 42-21 in the victory.
Quenneville didn’t rule out Stalberg returning to the lineup later in the playoffs.
“When asked before about changing the lineup [after a win,] we had to get [Bolland] in the winning lineup from Minnesota,” Quenneville said on Saturday morning. “I don’t like changing too much, but we wanted to get him into the lineup. Kind of comparable to what we’ve done throughout the season. But we’ll see. We can adapt and we can change at any moment.”
Stalberg said Friday he had been told by Quenneville his demotion was based on performance. Stalberg said he was frustrated, but he would continue to work to get back into the lineup.
“Can’t really do anything else now,” Stalberg said. “Work hard, make a difference when I’m back in the lineup. That’s the only reason. I’ve been in these spots before. There’s not much you can do. Just keep digging into it and working your way back. It’s just the way of the business.”