Chicago forward Viktor Stalberg has not had a 30-minute sitdown with coach Joel Quenneville in these playoffs. In fact, the Swede doesn’t talk to Quenneville “too often.”
“At this point, you know what you need to do,” Stalberg said. “And I think overthinking things too much is not necessarily a good thing.”
Stalberg, a healthy scratch the past two games, will make his Stanley Cup Final debut Monday night, the lone lineup change for Chicago in Game 3. Though the speedy winger hasn’t chatted at length with his coach, he knows what’s expected of him.
“Not overthink things too much, play it simple,” Stalberg said. “The way the Bruins play, I think it’s about speed, getting pucks to the net, be hungry around the net. That’s what I need to do.”
Stalberg was replaced by forward Brandon Bollig in the series’ first two games. Stalberg is known for his speed and elusiveness. Bollig is a bigger, physical presence. Bollig played only 8:42 in Game 2, recording zero shots on goal, zero hits, two giveaways, and a minus-1 rating.
“Bollig gave us a couple real strong games,” Quenneville said. “Viktor, we’re just looking for more. I think offensively, defensively, giving us some more in both those areas.”
Stalberg knows he can’t be too fancy.
“Boston really clogs down the middle,” he said. “Just got to keep it simple.”
Stalberg has played in 15 games this postseason, including 10 straight leading up to the Stanley Cup Final.
The 27-year-old has zero goals, three assists, and a minus-1 rating in those games. He tallied nine goals and 14 assists in 47 regular-season games.
Not playing in the first two Final games was frustrating, Stalberg said, “but hopefully you come out a little bit stronger.”
And maybe with a bit more energy; fresh legs could be key after the teams played nearly 10 periods in the last six days.
“We want to use his speed, that’s the big thing with his game,” forward Patrick Kane said. “He can really back their defensemen off.
“I think he had some good games when he was in the lineup, so hopefully he can keep playing as well as he has, maybe chip in a little more offensively. But for the most part, his speed is a big part of his game and our team game, as well.”