We all knew earlier this week that Stalberg wasn't skating with his usual line mates at practice and as a result, I thought Coach Q was looking to get his attention, including his teammates. In some ways it appeared Q was looking to manufacture some drama. He knew the boyz in the Indian Crest would need a better effort to start the series against Detroit and wanted the team to focused, at least that is what I thought. That was until a story was reported yesterday that Coach Q and Stalberg had some words. The first indication of a confrontation in Game 5 concerning Stalberg's role etc. came from the Tribune's Chris Kuc and two other reporters who reported that Stalberg basically talked back to his head coach late in the 3rd period in a way no player should.
When looking back, Stalberg's ice time in Game 5 against Minnehaha did not reflect a coach who was dissatisfied with his effort. Stalberg actually played a little longer that game than Bicks who had a great series, as did the entire third line. So it seemed like there was more to Stalberg's situation than could be blamed on a poor performance.
Supposedly at some point on the bench late in Game 5 Stalberg snapped at Q, which is wrong on every level. Q can't lose the respect of his entire team and Stalberg's actions (or least as reported) forced Q to make a difficult decision.
If the Hawks lost last night against the Wings many would have blamed Q. If Q had done nothing, he could have lost the respect of the entire team and there is no way he could take that chance, so in the end Stalberg was benched. He also did not skate in last night's warm-ups. A tough choice no doubt for Q but a head coach has to be in charge.
As it stands Stalberg will have to wait until Q feels he has been punished enough. Maybe Stalberg dresses on Saturday, maybe not. I do know the Hawks would be a stronger group with Stalberg in the lineup as I would like to see him shadow Pavel Datsyuk versus Hadzus which as we all know is not an easy task.
I am certain Q knows this but at the same time he also realizes respect is a must.
BTW, Coach Q has denied anything happened between him and Stalberg in this morning's media session.
There are no comments to display.