Friday, Jan. 7, 2011
By Tracey Myers
Nick Leddy thought he was going to spend this weekend off in Minnesota. Instead, the young defenseman got the call from the Chicago Blackhawks. And hes just fine with that.
Leddy, whos coming off a bronze-medal appearance with Team USA at the World Junior Championships, will be in the Blackhawks lineup when they host the Ottawa Senators tonight at the United Center. Leddy, who was paired with Jordan Hendry during morning skate, played in three early games when Brian Campbell was injured but spent a majority of this season with the Rockford IceHogs. He said the Rockford time has been beneficial.
It definitely helped a lot to get my legs under me and gain more confidence, he said. Ill just to keep it simple and play instinctive (tonight).
Leddy has two goals and eight assists in 22 games with the IceHogs. Quenneville said Leddy has gained experience and some size these past few months.
Hes played well there all year, hes progressed, hes even looked bigger to me off and on the ice, said Quenneville, who added Leddy could see some penalty-kill time. He played well when he was here earlier. I just think the consistency is something he added as he worked his way down (in Rockford).
Viktor Stalbergs latest run of tough luck hasnt gotten him down.
Its frustrating, these last three or four bounces. Everyone gets them. Ive just clogged mine up in one time period here, said Stalberg, who has six goals this season. Last year I probably would have (stressed). But you get a little more confidence in what youre dong this year, and coaches do, too. Hopefully when the first one goes in here itll keep coming.
The left wing was lined up with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane this morning, a group that was together earlier this season.
I think there was something there (with that trio) and I think his speed is a great asset, Quenneville said of Stalberg. Hes also making inroads to improve the other parts of his game.
Ryan Johnson, Nick Boynton and John Scott look to be tonights scratches.
Corey Crawford will get the start in goal.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.