Disgruntled Viktor Stalberg is healthy scratch for Game 1 for Blackhawks
BY MARK LAZERUS firstname.lastname@example.org May 15, 2013 11:10PM
Updated: June 18, 2013 7:50AM
Winger Viktor Stalberg wasn’t happy with his power-play time during the Blackhawks’ first-round
playoff series against the Minnesota Wild.
Now he’s not playing at all against the Detroit Red Wings.
Coach Joel Quenneville declined to go into specifics about why he benched the speedy third-line winger for Game 1, but a source said Stalberg was at odds with the coaching staff about his role in the series against the Wild. Stalberg got 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 regular 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.’’
Stalberg didn’t even skate in warmups, unlike other healthy scratches Brandon Bollig, Sheldon Brookbank and Jamal Mayers.
Quenneville said Stalberg might be back in the lineup 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.’’
The series officially features two of the best two-way players in the game, with Hawks captain Jonathan Toews and Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk being named finalists Wednesday for the Selke Trophy, which is given to the NHL’s top defensive forward. Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron is the other finalist.
For Toews, it was his second nomination in the last three seasons. For Datsyuk, a three-time winner of the award, it’s his sixth consecutive nomination.
Toews said individual awards aren’t the focus, but it’s nice all the same.
‘‘It’s definitely an honor and something special,’’ Toews said. ‘‘You look at the other two players that have been nominated, and it’s an honor to be mentioned in the same sentence as those two guys. So it’s a pretty cool feeling.’’
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said Toews’ value goes beyond numbers — and beyond defense.
‘‘What he does on film is one thing,’’ Babcock said. ‘‘That’s not what makes him what he is. How tough he is mentally, how [good he is] every day, what a great person he is — that’s what makes him the conscience of this team, the captain that he is. I like him a lot.’’
Ray Emery dressed as Hawks goalie Corey Crawford’s backup after missing the first round with a lower-body injury.