Viktor Stalberg says he is open to seeing time on checking line
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org December 15, 2011 8:18PM
Updated: January 17, 2012 8:26AM
Viktor Stalberg’s goal is to stick where he’s at.
But if coach Joel Quenneville feels compelled to drop him for whatever reason from first-line wing and into a checking role during games as he has recently, Stalberg feels he can handle that, too.
“I don’t think you’d like to be taken off a line,” Stalberg said. “At the same time, I know Joel likes to change things. Sometimes it’s frustrating to not get the ice time you want. But you just have to stick with it.
“[Against the San Jose Sharks], I got a chance to play with [Dave] Bolland. I want to find more consistency in my game so if I don’t play on that first line, I can play in that checking role.”
Stalberg played the majority of Wednesday’s shootout win against the Minnesota Wild with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, assisting on Toews’ third-period goal. But in previous games, he was replaced by Daniel Carcillo or others for shifts, even periods.
“It was for a couple reasons,” Quenneville said. “But he’s way more consistent than he has been in the past. There’s a lot of responsibility on that line. There’s room for improvement, but I think he is improving.”
Stalberg sees his speed and size, which make him a threat on the top line, as beneficial in defensive roles, too.
“I’ve never really put too much effort on it earlier in my career,” said Stalberg, who has five goals and 15 points this season. “I was always an offensive player in junior or college. In college, I got better defensively, and I’m still working on that. I think I’m getting better and better.
“I think with my size, speed and quickness, I should be able to play that checking role, too. It’s something I want to have in my game, so it opens up more opportunities to play.”
Oh, Danny boy
Carcillo sat out practice Thursday with what Quenneville described as a “not serious” upper-body injury. He is questionable for Friday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks.
Carcillo fought the Wild’s Brad Staubitz on Wednesday, enduring some head shots late in the scuffle. He also was unexpectedly punched in the face by Kyle Brodziak in a later scrum.
The Hawks called up Ben Smith with Carcillo ailing.
One more look
Enforcer John Scott considered it a tough break to be on the ice for the Wild’s first goal, which he and defense partner Steve Montador thought was icing, but it was waved off.
“I think [the official] knew he messed up,” Scott said. “He thought the puck was on the ice maybe, and thought I could play it. But it was waist-high, and I didn’t even have a play on the puck.”