Viktor Stalberg back for Game 3
BOSTON -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Viktor Stalberg will play in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals against the Boston Bruins on Monday after being a healthy scratch for the first two games of the series, coach Joel Quenneville said.
"I think we need some speed from him," Quenneville said. "I think we need energy. I think that he's a threat off the rush, in zone, defensively responsible. You know, bring energy."
Stalberg, who is known for his speed and offensive game, was replaced by forward Brandon Bollig in the first two games. Quenneville said before Game 1 he wanted to use Bollig's physical play against the Bruins.
Bollig played 14 shifts and had 8:42 of ice time during the Blackhawks' 2-1 overtime loss to the Bruins in Game 2 on Saturday. He had no shots on goal, zero hits, two giveaways and a minus-1 rating.
Bollig was unable to corral a pass from teammate Brent Seabrook along the boards in overtime, and the Bruins retrieved the puck and scored moments later for the game winner. Quenneville spoke positively about Bollig after Game 2.
"I think Bollig gave us a couple real strong games," Quenneville said. "You can talk about the last play. Certainly you like the predictability of his game. I thought he did a nice job. Viktor, we're just looking for more. I think offensively, defensively, giving us some more in both those areas."
Stalberg has no goals, three assists and a minus-1 rating in 15 playoff games this season. He had nine goals and 14 assists in the regular season.
"Hopefully I can be a factor," Stalberg said. "Hopefully I can make a difference. That's what I'm trying to do. I think I can. I just got to go out there, not overthink things too much and try not to do too much. That's one of the traps you can get into when you're sitting out."
Quenneville also benched Stalberg for two games against the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference semifinals. Daniel Carcillo replaced Stalberg in the two games against the Red Wings. Stalberg returned for Game 3 against the Red Wings and played in 10 consecutive games leading up to the Stanley Cup finals.
Stalberg's playing time in the playoffs has often been less than what he was given in the regular season. He averaged 14:07 of ice time in 47 regular-season games and has played more than 12 minutes just twice in the playoffs. He's played less than 10 minutes in seven of those games.
"You got to find a way to contribute something," Stalberg said. "I think I was trying to do that in the other series. Maybe it didn't show up on the scoreboard. At the same time with those minutes, that may not be what you're looking to do. Trying to get some energy, trying to leave the ice time of the other guys at that point. Certainly, if that's the case, you try to do everything you can with the limited time. Just try to prepare as you can. It's tough at times. The motivation should be in the Stanley Cup final, for sure."