The Chicago Blackhawks are off to an improbable season in 2013. They haven’t lost a game in regulation so far this season. There have been a lot of guys playing well, but one guy that seems to not get the credit he deserves in Viktor Stalberg. Since coming over from the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2010, Stalberg has played well for the ‘Hawks.
Last season, he started coming into his own collecting 43 points and six game winning goals. He’s one of the games better skaters. A deceiving number for Stalberg is his career plus/minus of negative 3. While with a putrid Maple Leafs’ squad, he had a negative 13 back in 2009. Since joining the Hawks, he’s been positive in his three seasons.
Playing right wing on the third line with forwards Andrew Shaw and Bryan Bickell, Stalberg isn’t going to have the offensive chances he would on other lines, but he’s taken advantage of his chances with three goals and six total points. What has impressed me most with Stalberg is his commitment to defense. He’s fourth on the team in hits (14) and continues to get better defensively as the season is moving along.
When the Hawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010, there were many role players up-and-down the roster. With Stalberg’s skill set and commitment to defense, he fits into the group of guys that brought a championship to Chicago. With the Hawks early success, there’s whispers around the United Center that this team could be on its way to another title shot. If that is to happen, it’s up to the Stalbergs on this roster to make it happen. It seems like there’s a lot of contributing going around, and Stalberg is one of this season’s unsung heros.