Viktor Stalberg

Stalberg returns to ‘Hawks lineup for Game 3 vs. Detroit

Viktor Stalberg is out of the doghouse.

The Chicago winger, dropped from the first two games of the Western Conference semifinals, will be back in the lineup for Game 3 when the ‘Hawks take on the Red Wings on Monday night.

“I don’t think I’ll play any different from sitting out — I want to go out and play the same way I have all year,” Stalberg told reporters upon learning of his re-insertion to the lineup. “If they didn’t think I did that the first round, so be it, but at the end of the day that’s what made us successful all year.”

Stalberg played all five of Chicago’s opening-round games against Minnesota, but was largely ineffective. He recorded just one assist and drew the ire of head coach Joel Quenneville, who has since decided Stalberg’s speed would be beneficial against a solid-skating Detroit side.

As for how the lineup will shake out?

Stalberg is expected to move onto the third line with Andrew Shaw and Bryan Bickell. That’ll mean Dave Bolland will bump up to center the second line (with Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp) while Michal Handzus will drop from second line to fourth line center duties.

It also sounds like Dan Carcillo will be a healthy scratch.


Coach Q: Stalberg wasn’t scratched because of dispute over power-play time

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks


A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.