Blackhawks

Stalberg learns from 'old-fashioned benching'

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Stalberg learns from 'old-fashioned benching'

Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010
Posted 2:57 PM Updated 4:27 PM

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

Viktor Stalberg sat on the bench the entire third period against the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night. But it wasn't injury that sidelined the Chicago Blackhawks' left wing. Instead, Stalberg said, it was just "a good, old-fashioned benching."

Stalberg, who's been playing on the Blackhawks' top line for some time now, was benched for the third period of the team's 5-3 victory over the Stars. Stalberg logged 8:10 of ice time and was a minus-2.

He said there was no need to get further explanation from coach Joel Quenneville.

"It was pretty clear," he said. "It's just nothing to talk about; it's going to happen and you can't get down on yourself too much. You've just got to come out harder and play tougher and make sure you contribute the way they want you to."

Quenneville said it was mainly about "consistency (on defense), being stronger there and influencing the puck, those type of things."

"Everyone has stretches where you're playing better than other times and sometimes you go with the guys who are going better who are probably playing consistently over that stretch of games," he said.

Stalberg said he'll regroup and be ready for Saturday's game against San Jose.

"I need to use my speed and try to play a simple game," he said. "When you play with really good players you want to make sure they're getting the puck a lot. I've gotten away from the way I need to play. They want to make sure I do that. I'll be ready to go Saturday."

Kane getting closer?

Quenneville said two or three of the Blackhawks' injured forwards, including possibly Patrick Kane, could be skating when the Blackhawks return from this two-game road trip. Marian Hossa and Fernando Pisani have been sidelined for a bit with lower- and upper-body injuries, respectively.

"Could be," Quenneville said of Kane, who appeared to suffer a left-ankle injury just 23 seconds into Sunday's game against Calgary. "That's optimistic."
Crawford close to record

In racking up all these victories, Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford is putting himself among good company.

Crawford claimed his seventh consecutive victory on Wednesday night, a 5-3 decision over the Dallas Stars, making him the first Blackhawks rookie goaltender to reach that mark since Darren Pang did it in 1988.

Corey Crawford is congratulated by Blackhawks teammates after earning his seventh straight win Wednesday night against the Dallas Stars. (AP)Crawford is one off the Blackhawks' rookie consecutive win streak mark (8), reached by Denis DeJordy in 1964. Glenn Hall has the franchise mark with nine his last victory came in relief.

The 25-year-old Crawford played down his achievements.

"It's pretty cool, but it's not about me at all," he said. "The guys have played so well every game. They're giving me a lot of goals and playing well defensively, too.

"You have to keep working hard and stay focused," he said. "I'm just taking it shot by shot. That's my thought process right now."

Coach Joel Quenneville said there was a good chance Crawford would play against San Jose.

"He works well with things and his patience helps him," Quenneville said. "He's aggressive in certain situations and he's big a lot. He's progressing here at a good level for us. We like his approach as well."

Briefly

Jeremy Morin and Rob Klinkhammer were reassigned to Rockford on Thursday morning. The Blackhawks could call up "one or two" from Rockford on their two-game road trip, Quenneville said.

Dave Bolland did not practice on Thursday; Quenneville said it was a "maintenance" day for the center, who will be on the San JoseDenver trip.

Defenseman Jassen Cullimore missed Thursday's practice with a lower-body injury. Quenneville said Cullimore will make the trip but is not sure of his status yet for Saturday's game against the San Jose Sharks.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Brendan Perlini still trying to find role with Blackhawks

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AP

Brendan Perlini still trying to find role with Blackhawks

Brendan Perlini's start with the Blackhawks hasn't been ideal. He has zero points and is a minus-6 rating through six games since being acquired — along with Dylan Strome — from the Arizona Coyotes for Nick Schmaltz on Nov. 25. 

In his most recent game, Perlini logged only five shifts and was benched for the final 28:28 in a 4-3 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday. Two days later he found himself a healthy scratch. It's been a little more than two weeks now, but Perlini is still trying to find his role in Chicago.

"You always want to be playing, but I always take the positive in everything and try to improve no matter what the situation is," Perlini said. "It's always tough, you come into a new situation, new things going on, you don't know too many people. ... There's a lot of things going on. I just have to stay focused on what I can do to help the team improve each day."

Is he feeling some pressure to live up to the trade and trying to do too much early on?

‘‘Nah, not really,’’ Perlini said. ‘‘I’m an easygoing guy. I just like to come and play hockey, and that’s it. I don’t think crazy things and blah, blah, blah. I just like to have fun, do my thing, work hard, improve. Hopefully the rest falls into place.’’

The Blackhawks aren't asking too much out of him. He's not going to produce big numbers offensively because that's not the kind of player he is. At 6-foot-3, 211 pounds, Perlini is more of a power forward and the Blackhawks want him to be harder to play against so that he can turn into a consistent top-9 forward.

"We just want him to have a little more urgency without the puck," coach Jeremy Colliton said. "Skate, work, work away from the puck, and I think he'll put himself in good situations."

Perhaps it's a little more difficult to establish your role when the team is on a seven-game losing streak because there's lots of mixing and matching going on as they search for the right formula to break out of it. Perlini (and Strome) has yet to be a part of a win with the Blackhawks, which probably isn't helping as they get acclimated to their new locker room.

But it's also an opportunity to take control and make an impact when things aren't going your way, both individually and as a team, and learn from some of the veterans who have three Stanley Cups on their resume.

"I'm just trying to improve with different things every day and learn off the guys," Perlini said. "Obviously, some unbelievable players. The team is going through a skid, but you take a look around the room — [Jonathan] Toews, [Patrick] Kane, all the guys who have won things and done tremendous things in the game — those are the guys you want to be around and learn from and improve from. For me, regardless of what the situation is, I’m always going to try to improve and better myself.’’

Artem Anisimov (concussion) added to injury report, will not travel to Winnipeg

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USA TODAY

Artem Anisimov (concussion) added to injury report, will not travel to Winnipeg

The Blackhawks announced Monday that Artem Anisimov will not travel to Winnipeg for Tuesday's game against the Jets because he is in concussion protocol.

He suffered the injury on his very first shift of the third period on Sunday against the Montreal Canadiens when Shea Weber laid a heavy hit on the Blackhawks center along the boards. Anisimov did not appear to be in immediate discomfort, but he left the ice and did not return.

The injury comes at a time where Anisimov was starting to play some good hockey. He has six points (four goals, two assists) in his past 10 games after having only one point in his previous eight contests. He's also averaging four shots on goal per game over his last five contests.

"He's been playing really well lately, so it's unfortunate both for him and the team," coach Jeremy Colliton said after practice on Monday. "But carry on."

As of now, the Blackhawks do not have any plans to make a call up. Brendan Perlini, who was a healthy scratch on Monday for the first time since being traded to the Blackhawks, is expected to draw back into the lineup in Anisimov's absence.