Stalberg waiting in hockey limbo
For the third straight practice, Blackhawks forward Viktor Stalberg was clad in the dreaded white practice sweater, signifying a man without a line.
And afterward he was a man without much to say about it:
"I don't really have anything to say about it — that's Q's call," Stalberg said, referring to coach Joel Quenneville.
So you're feeling healthy?
How do you feel you got through the first round in terms of a self-assessment?
"We won 4-1, right? So that's good."
Dave Bolland skated on the third line with Bryan Bickell and Andrew Shaw on Tuesdsay.
After practice, Quenneville was asked what Stalberg could do to get back in the lineup.
"Stay ready. Stay ready," he said. "Nobody said he's out of the lineup, but keep yourself ready and make the decisions tough on us."
It began with a clacking of sticks.
It escalated into some words and then some shoving.
If the little dust-up between Jamal Mayers and Daniel Carcillo midway through Tuesday's practice proved anything, it's that maybe after five days without an actual game, it's probably time to bring on the Red Wings.
"I'm not concerned about it, I've seen many of those," Joel Quenneville said. "I don't know if it's healthy, but it shows how competitive it is. Guys want to play.
"I've seen (those) escalate to a different level. I thought this one was kind of on the friendly side so I wouldn't consider it that bad."
Ben there, done that:
A day after practicing at wing on the third line, Ben Smith was centering the second line between Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane, replacing Michal Handzus, who missed his second straight practice but is expected back in the lineup for the series opener.
Just where all this leaves Smith is anybody's guess.
"I haven't been told anything; I'm ready if called upon," Smith said. "I'm not quite sure what's going on."
He's not alone.
"Yeah, I don't really know what's going on, to be honest with you," Kane said of the state of flux on some lines.
Asked if there was a possibility Smith would be in the lineup Wednesday, Joel Quenneville offered up only a "we'll see."
He's not Joshing:
The finalists for the Bill Masterton Trophy, which goes to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey, were announced Tuesday and they include Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Minnesota's Josh Harding.
Hawks winger Bryan Bickell knows how he'd vote.
"Harding definitely," Bickell said of the Wild goalie who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last fall. "With what he went through this year, I can't put it into words. When he played against us in the first round he was outstanding.
"What Crosby has been through, that's a tough injury, but I'd definitely go with Harding."
Home sweet home:
Because of the delay between games, the Blackhawks have decided to return to Chicago immediately after Game 3 in Detroit.
"Unless we go to overtime we'll probably get home before midnight," Joel Quenneville said. "That's two full days here."
He said it:
"I was thinking about it yesterday. I was thinking I probably could have had a goal every game last series. I had some chances. I've just got to realize that the chances are going to come. I've just got to stay with it, stay focused, and bear down when they do."
— Patrick Kane, who has scored 1 playoff goal since his Stanley Cup winner.
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