|5v5 P/60||5v5 SAT%||5v5 SAT% Rel||5v5 SCF%||5v5 ZSO%||5v5 PDO||5v5 TOI/Gm|
Where to begin with the oft-befuddling Viktor Stalberg.
First and foremost, a story from this past season. The only time I have ever had my fandom questioned was because of my constant derision toward Stalberg in a game this season against Calgary. I am pretty relentless against Stalberg and my famed insult of choice is "Do something that will make me not hate you, Stalberg!!"
With this in mind I wanted to tackle Stalberg in the season review as an attempt to write objectively about his season. Truth be told upon further study, I'm starting to come around.
In a season that saw Stalberg not amount to much from a points total, his possession stats were stout and, boy howdy, is he fast. His low point came earlier in the season where he was sent down to Milwaukee and cleared waivers to do so. Not the greatest finisher at putting the biscuit in the basket, but as the season progressed and the playoffs started, Stalberg began to be the set up man. His speed, while not useful for breakaways, was a catalyst for success for the dish to a competent goal scorer.
In the playoffs, Stalberg took it to his former team, the Chicago Blackhawks, scoring a goal and two assists in six games. Hopefully this is the kind of play we can expect next season on a regular basis rather than the "Stale-berg" we were subjected to in the 2014-15 regular season. More on that below.
For me this was the Stalberg I loved to see during the playoffs. Aggressive on the boards and a heady play to get his only goal of the playoffs (If only they could have won the damn game..)
Last year, I pegged Stalberg as an Ostrich. Fast bird with no resolve against danger. That held true for 5/6 of the season. So, we'll wait and see if his playoff performance will carry through to another spirit animal selection next season.
The Road Ahead:
The Nashville Predators still have (for right now at least) two more years of Stalberg's service at $3M a clip. Maybe the addition of a pure goal scorer in Moses next season with Jarnkrok, (or if the Preds trade for a 1C, Fisher) Stalberg can use that quickness to set up people to score. He keeps possession going in the right direction and aside from boat oars for hands, he can be the perfect set-up winger for the third line. If he can't find his groove in that scenario, they could always send him down again, but something tells me this time around, a team won't let him go through waivers.