CHARLES REX ARBOGAST / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

If you’ve even barely been paying attention to the Hawks lately, then you have undoubtedly heard of the emergence of Viktor Stalberg.

We are all surely familiar with his skating abilities and blazing speed.  Sadly, we are also familiar with his knack for poor finishing and lack of patience when shooting.  Had you mentioned Stalberg to me earlier in the season, even I would have rolled my eyes in frustration.

That all changed with his recent point streak (seven points over four games).  It seems his shooting patience and accuracy are finally catching up to his speed.  Stalberg producing, you say?  Go ahead, I’m listening.

The fairy tale, surge, or whatever you want to call it that began on December 18 with an assist against the Calgary Flames and ended last night against the Los Angeles Kings has gathered the attention of everyone from Joel Quenneville to ESPN fantasy hockey owners (myself included).

The emergence of Stalberg has also made his linemates, Dave Bolland and Bryan Bickell relevant again.  Bolland registered three assists over Stalberg’s streak, while even Bickell graced us with a rare two point outing against the Montreal Canadiens.

Stalberg didn’t get any points last night,  but he played well.  Stalberg had opportunities to score and delivered some nice shots on net, but he came up empty. Chalk it up to Jonathan Quick playing a very solid game and his defense giving him the support he needed to get a very rare road shutout at the United Center.

Joel Quenneville is also paying attention.  Stalberg’s magical touch awarded him with more ice time last night than he typically gets.  It will be really interesting to see what Coach Q will do with his ice time if he continues to produce and this streak wasn’t a fluke.

The Hawks have had incredible offensive production from their top two lines with Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews, and Marian Hossa all in the top 25 in the NHL in points.  These guys, along with pretty solid back-up goaltending from Ray Emery, are the reason the Hawks are currently sitting pretty at the top of the Western Conference.

The Hawks have been plagued by poor defense, have had little to no support from their third and fourth lines this season, and are STILL first in the West.  Imagine what they will be capable of once they start clicking on all cylinders and the third and fourth lines start producing consistently.

Combined with his blazing speed, a scoring touch from Stalberg will surely make the rest of the NHL cringe in agony.  When guys lower on the depth chart start putting it together, the Hawks will be the deep Playoff team we all know they have the potential to be.