Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010
Posted 2:57 PM Updated 4:27 PM
By Tracey Myers
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."
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.