Bickell, Stalberg having completely different postseasons

LOS ANGELES — It was an interesting pairing at the Blackhawks' media availability at their Beverly Hills hotel on Thursday morning.

Bryan Bickell and Viktor Stalberg sitting side by side, both set to become unrestricted free agents after the season.

While Bickell has wowed the hockey world with his postseason performance and increased his chance of getting a big payday this off-season, Stalberg went into Game 4 of the Western Conference finals still in search of his first goal in his 14th game.

Stalberg thinks it's his overall performance this season that teams are going to remember when free agency rolls around.

“I think people are watching you all year when you're a free agent,” Stalberg said. “It's just part of the game. Certainly there are more eyes on you at this point of the year, but you try not to think too much about it. It's about winning right now and doing everything you can for the team and whatever happens after the year, we'll take care of that.

“Right now it's about this group, this team and winning right now.”

Bickell, who scored his eighth goal of the playoffs in the first period of Thursday's Game 4, was brief in his response to the same question.

“I concur (with Stalberg),” Bickell said.

Stalberg, who was benched for the first two games of the Detroit series, said he was not disappointed in his postseason.

“I think it started out pretty good,” Stalberg said. “I thought our line was effective the first series. It was a big part of us winning that series.

“Whatever happened after that, happened. You just put it behind you, try to go on and play our game. You can't look at the numbers too much. I think as a group we've been playing well.”

Pretty boy:

Bryan Bickell did confirm a media report that his parents started him out as a figure skater at age 5 and that there is a picture somewhere of him in a tutu, though he said it was not on the wall of the family home like his dad told a columnist.

“I did start figure skating, but it was more ‘can' skating, we called it,” Bickell said. “I think my parents going into hockey they wanted to teach me how to skate first and then learn the hockey. There's a picture floating around somewhere at my parents' house. He said it was on the wall, but it's not on the wall. He's making that up. It was all in good fun.”

Depth matters:

Kings coach Darryl Sutter said the last two Stanley Cup winners, Boston and Los Angeles, had a lot in common.

“I think the last two teams that won the Stanley Cups play great team games, get contributions from everybody in the lineup,” Sutter said. “It's not about one player. You have to be able to play a 200-foot game, you have to be very disciplined in all three zones and you have to stay out of the penalty box.

“You can play a physical game without taking penalties. I know we're one of the lower penalized teams in the league. So that has an impact on the other's top players and on your ability to defend.”

Line dancing:

Darryl Sutter looked pretty smart in Game 3 when he dropped Anze Kopitar to the third line and bumped Jarret Stoll up to the first line to skate with Justin Williams and Dustin Brown.

“We just moved (Kopitar) more into a quieter role, that's all,” Sutter said. “And quite honestly, you're playing so many games in a short period of time, if you break the minutes down again, Kopy still played 20 minutes the other night. Everybody's top players still play. You basically win or lose with those guys.”

Stoll was comfortable on the top line.

“I don't know what you consider top lines or what,” Stoll said. “Whoever you're playing with, try to be good, create chances, try to be a plus player, just keep it simple and play your game. Both guys work hard and smart and they're big-game players, too.”

Images: Blackhawks vs. Kings, Game Four

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