Photo courtesy of Chicago Blackhawks
BOSTON-- It appears that the Boston Bruins will have to deal with another one of the weapons the Chicago Blackhawks possess on Monday evening. According to a report from Scott Powers of ESPNChicago.com , Viktor Stalberg will play in tonight’s Game 3 after being a healthy scratch for the first two contests of what has been a very entertaining series. The announcement was made by Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville.
"I think we need some speed from him," Quenneville said. "I think we need energy. I think that he's a threat off the rush, in zone, defensively responsible. You know, bring energy."
In the first two games of the series, the Stockholm, Sweden native was replaced by left-winger Brandon Bollig due to Bollig’s physical style of play, which Quenneville wanted to use against the Bruins.
Bollig was a workhorse in Game 2 Saturday evening as he was on the ice for 8:42, which amounted to 14 shifts. However, although respectable, his energy did not translate into much production as he tallied zero shots, zero hits, two takeaways and a minus-1 rating. Perhaps most glaring, he was unable to receive a pass from teammate Brent Seabrook along the boards and the Bruins snagged the puck and rattled the cages with the game-winner shortly thereafter. Despite the miscue, Quenneville spoke positively of Bollig after the game.
"I think Bollig gave us a couple real strong games," Quenneville said. "You can talk about the last play. Certainly you like the predictability of his game. I thought he did a nice job. Viktor (Stalberg), we're just looking for more. I think offensively, defensively, giving us some more in both those areas."
Stalberg to say the least has struggled. He has no goals, three hits and also a minus-1 rating in 15 playoff games this campaign. Despite his struggles, he is determined to make an impact.
"Hopefully I can be a factor," Stalberg said. "Hopefully I can make a difference. That's what I'm trying to do. I think I can. I just got to go out there, not overthink things too much and try not to do too much. That's one of the traps you can get into when you're sitting out."
With the Blackhawks already possessing that speed element, having Stalberg back in the lineup tonight should make life difficult for the Bruins. Chicago has been very strong on the forecheck, and Boston has had problems moving the puck out of their zone. One of the things to watch tonight will be how the return of Stalberg impacts Chicago’s breakout ability.
Between the two clubs, talent is plentiful. Now, Chicago will have even more explosiveness in their arsenal with the return of one of their speedy offensive players.