Stalberg 'likely' to be back in Game 3 for Blackhawks

Updated 5/19/2013 8:05 PM

It looks like the Blackhawks are putting the band back together.

After sitting the first two games of the Western Conference semifinals against Detroit, it appears speedy forward Viktor Stalberg will be back in familiar territory -- on the third line alongside Andrew Shaw and Bryan Bickell -- for a crucial Game 3 at Joe Louis Arena.

Following a short practice Sunday, coach Joel Quenneville said Stalberg is "likely playing" in Monday night's showdown.

Although he hadn't received official word yet, Stalberg on Sunday sounded like a guy who couldn't wait to get back on the ice when it counts.

"We'll see what happens, but if I get a chance to play, I'll try to do anything I can to make a difference and help us win these games," he said. "It's always frustrating. You want to play, you want to help out, and being on the sidelines is never fun.

"Most of us made it here because we're competitive people and want to be playing and want to be the best. You always want to be out there."

While there seems to be some disagreement about what caused Stalberg to be benched in the first place, Quenneville said he was pleased with what he saw from the winger in the interim.

"I thought he handled it well," Quenneville said. "In practices you could see things, the attitude -- he did what he had to do to keep himself ready. A couple of strong skates.

"Put yourself in a position where you're ready to help us. We expect him to be ready as well."

Bolly on the move?

With the apparent return of Viktor Stalberg to the lineup, center Dave Bolland was back skating between Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane on the second line.

"They played a lot together all year long," Joel Quenneville said of the trio. "Bolly getting up to speed here, being out for a bit, I thought he's progressed getting in the lineup here and we know what he brings come playoff time.

"I think he's got reliability on both sides of the puck, and he's got that playoff intangible of being hard to play against. That was something our whole team could have used more of (Saturday)."

Bolland's move to the second line would seem to leave Michal Handzus as the odd man out. The veteran center did not skate Sunday but was deemed "fine" by Quenneville.

Also missing practice but deemed "fine" was defenseman Johnny Oduya, who was a workhorse in Game 2.

Loving the Joe:

The Hawks have found a home away from home in Joe Louis Arena, where they are 9-2 since winning the Stanley Cup.

"I like it. It's fast ice. It's an old barn," Andrew Shaw said. "The fans are right on top of you. It gets me going, and I know a lot of the other guys like playing there as well."

Here we go:

In case you were wondering, here's how Joel Quenneville responded when asked if he had any thoughts about playing Ray Emery in the near future:

"We're fine with Corey right now," Quenneville said. "I loved the way he's played. He's played very strong for us all year. Excellent first round and a real good start to this series."

He said it:

"Speed. Big body. Great shot. We try to just get it to him wide, and he uses his speed to his advantage. It creates room for us, and me and Bicks try to throw the body around to create some more space for him."

-- Andrew Shaw on the possibility of Viktor Stalberg rejoining the Hawks' third line.

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.