Stalberg's speed replaces Bollig's muscle in lineup
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Blackhawks forward Viktor Stalberg was back in the lineup Monday night after sitting out the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final.
BOSTON — You could see this one coming.
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville went back to Viktor Stalberg's speed over Brandon Bollig's muscle for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday.
Stalberg was back in the Hawks' lineup after being a healthy scratch for the first two games while Quenneville went with the more physical Bollig.
But Bollig's overtime misplay of Brent Seabrook's ring-around along the boards Saturday night in Game 2 resulted in Daniel Paille's winning goal and a 2-1 loss.
Quenneville denied Bollig's misplay was the reason for the lineup change.
"Bollig gave us a couple real strong games," Quenneville said. "You can talk about the last play. I thought he did a nice job. (With) Viktor, we're just looking for more. I think offensively, defensively, giving us some more in both those areas.
"We need some speed from him. I think we need energy. I think that he's a threat off the rush, in zone, defensively responsible. You know, bring energy."
Stalberg denied his second benching on the playoffs made him more motivated.
"I've been motivated the whole time," he said. "It's the playoffs, no matter if it's the conference final or semifinal, whatever it's been, you're motivated to play.
"Watching games is never fun. You want to get back in there and hopefully it's the difference."
In the Blackhawks' 2-0 Game 3 loss, Stalberg played 11 minutes, took 1 shot and missed the net twice. He claimed he hasn't had too many discussions with Quenneville about his situation.
"Not too often," Stalberg said. "I don't think he talks to the players too much. You know what's expected of you. At this point you know what you have to do. I don't think overthinking things too much is going to help."
At least Stalberg will have fresh legs after his teammates played almost four periods of overtime in the first two games.
"Hopefully it will be a factor," Stalberg said. "I just have to go out there and not think things too much, keep things simple. The way the Bruins play they come back hard and clog up the middle, so we've got to keep it simple and be tough on pucks."
Stalberg said last week he couldn't be effective playing eight minutes a game. He changed his tune a bit Monday.
"You've got to find a way to contribute something," he said. "At the same time, I think I was trying to do that in the other series. It might not have shown up on the scoreboard, but (with) those minutes you can provide some energy.
"If that's the case you've got to find any way you can to contribute with the limited time. It's tough at times, but the motivation should be there in the Stanley Cup Final."
Stalberg skated on the fourth line with Michael Frolik and Marcus Kruger.
"They've played great all these playoffs," Stalberg said. "Hopefully I can bring some scoring to that line."
From watching the first two games, Stalberg was able to get a good read on Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask.
"It's pretty simple I think — just shoot it from everywhere and get bodies to the net," Stalberg said. "He's a good goaltender. He seems to be making the first and second and sometimes the third save, so you've just got to keep staying with it, staying on those loose pucks and get guys to the net.
"That's how you disturb his rhythm a little bit and get those dirty goals. I don't think there's going to be that many tap-tap goals out there. It's going to be a shot and a deflection."
Quenneville was asked if Stalberg's speed could be a bigger asset on the road.
"Home or away, it's a great asset to have," Quenneville said. "Using it the right way, he's a threat. It gives us some speed on all lines. It gives (Boston) something to at least contend with."
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