Quenneville decides to sit unhappy Stalberg
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After three days of skating with the extras, Viktor Stalberg was a healthy scratch in Game 1 against Detroit on Wednesday.
"Coach's decision," said Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville.
Quenneville was asked if his decision to sit out Stalberg was based solely on his so-so performance in the first round against Minnesota or if speedy third-line winger had broken any team rules.
"I had a conversation with him so he knows how it stands and the situation," Quenneville said. "We'll leave it at that."
According to a source, Stalberg was unhappy with his power-play time in the first round and voiced his unhappiness to Quenneville on the bench in Game 5. He had three seconds of power-play ice time in Game 1, followed by 55 seconds in Game 2. He had no power-play time in Games 3, 4 or 5.
It's a game-by-game situation with Stalberg, according to Quenneville.
"Absolutely. Things change in our business quickly, whether it's health or decisions based on play," Quenneville said. "We'll visit it as we go along."
With Dave Bolland returning from his groin injury to center the third line, Andrew Shaw moved to right wing replacing Stalberg.
Daniel Carcillo stayed on the fourth line with Marcus Kruger and Michael Frolik.
Stalberg only missed one game during the regular season -- the final night at St. Louis when Quenneville rested most of his regulars. Stalberg had 9 goals and 23 points in 47 games.
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock knows better than to get involved in Hawks business.
"This is what I've learned over the years: Their coach knows their team better than I do, so there's no sense second guessing him very much," Babcock said. "He's going with the team he thinks gives them the best chance to win. He's a competitive guy who wants to win."
When the two clubs last met in the playoffs in the 2009 Western Conference finals, Detroit coach Mike Babcock knew the Hawks were a team on the rise.
He did wonder how everyone was going to get paid, which turned out to be a problem after the Hawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010 and they had to basically bust up that team.
"On their recycle, the Hawks did basically a good job of trading and acquiring more assets and allowing themselves again to be in a real good position," Babcock said.
They also drafted well in the years leading up to the 2010 Stanley Cup win.
"You know, if you do a good job when you're a bad team and you draft real well, you can ride that for probably 8-10 years," Babcock said. "You've got to be careful to be bad enough long enough so you get good enough.
"Your fans don't want to hear that, but if you get good too fast you're never going to be good enough. If you stay bad enough long enough, in the (salary cap) new world, you have a chance to be real good."
The way Red Wings coach Mike Babcock sees it, a real key to the series will be getting pucks behind the Hawks' defense.
"The big thing for us is they have a real mobile back end and we have to get into that group or they're going to be on offense all the time," Babcock said. "If we don't get in on that group it's going to be a track meet up and down the ice.
"We don't need a track meet. We need a grind fest. We have to be very good with the puck, take care of the puck; if we turn the puck over and don't get through the neutral zone it's going to be a long series for our team."
Center Dave Bolland was back in the Hawks' lineup after missing eight games with a groin injury.
"It's nice to have Bolly back," Joel Quenneville said. "He brings that intangible, a reliable guy in the middle of the ice, checks well, plays hard, seems to elevate his game in the playoffs." ...
Center Michal Handzus played despite missing two days of practice this week resting a sore back. ... The Red Wings started the series without three injured regulars in center Darren Helm (back), defenseman Danny DeKeyser (thumb) and forward Drew Miller (hand). Veteran forward Mikael Samuelsson (upper body) has missed 41 games this season.
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