It never fails; whenever Viktor Stalberg is on the ice for the Chicago Blackhawks he does something that makes you shake your head. With that being said, the speedy left winger is prone to making idiotic mistakes as well.
A total role player, Stalberg hasn’t done himself any favors by reportedly having beef with head coach Joel Quenneville. It’s hard enough to get ice time on a team as potent as the Hawks, so No. 25 can only blame himself for the recent decrease in playing time. However, “Coach Q” needs to do what’s best for the team and not his ego — playing Brandon Bolig over Stalberg on Saturday could go down as a series-changing move.
Bolig was the one who made the crucial overtime turnover that gave the Boston Bruins a two-on-one opportunity that Daniel Paille didn’t dare miss.
Sure, Stalberg does have a habit of turning the puck over, but his quickness and skating ability are much greater than Bolig’s. Just like with Bryan Bickell, the Hawks will have to decide on whether to bring Stalberg back this summer or to let the unrestricted free agent walk. Obviously, his play in the Stanley Cup Finals is going to be something brought up in negotiations with any NHL team eager to sign Stalberg.
Going into the series, Quenneville knew what a bunch of bruisers that the Bruins had, so bringing in the hit-evading and productive Stalberg is rather late. Hopefully, we don’t look back at the Stalberg absence and scapegoat both Quenneville and Bolig, but that could definitely be the case in a week or so.