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Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Viktor Stalberg in doghouse?

By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Viktor Stalberg said Tuesday that he hasn't had any communication with team management about why he's been excluded from the top four lines during the past three practices.

"I haven't talked to anybody," Stalberg said after Tuesday's practice at United Center. "At this point, no, [I don't want to talk to anyone]. It's their decision. I can't influence what they're doing. Keep my mouth shut and play and see where it goes."

Stalberg wore a white jersey again Tuesday and did not skate with the top four lines. He was replaced by Dave Bolland on the third line.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said he would talk to Stalberg when he needed to.

"They'll all know where they stand," Quenneville said. "We'll address the situation when the time is right."

Quenneville said Stalberg wasn't definitively out of the lineup Wednesday for Game 1 of their second-round series against the Detroit Red Wings. Quenneville said Stalberg must continue to prepare as if he's going to play.

"Stay ready," Quenneville said. "Nobody said he's out of the lineup. Keep yourself [ready], make decisions tough on us."

Stalberg has fallen out of Quenneville's favor since the final game of the first-round series against the Minnesota Wild. Stalberg had one assist in five games against the Wild and did not have a point in the final four games. He had nine goals and 14 assists in 47 regular-season games.

Stalberg didn't believe he played horribly during the first round.

"We won 4-1, right?" Stalberg said. "That's good."

Stalberg thought the Blackhawks as a team all could play better.

"At times in the series, we might not have been as good as we wanted to be," Stalberg said. "Still come out 4-1. Sometimes it's two teams that need to get the tempo up as well. But we did what we're supposed to. Certainly could have been better at times, but that's how it goes."

Stalberg also believed a less physical team such as the Red Wings would suit his fast playing style better than against the Wild. He had one goal and two assists in four games against the Red Wings during the regular season.

"I think I've had some of my best games against them this year," Stalberg said of Detroit. "For sure, it fits my style. I think that's better for me than teams sitting back, but you got to be able to play against everybody. If I get to play, I'm excited to play them. I think it's a good matchup for me. I think we're ready for the series. We prepared well. We got some time off, be ready to go."