Well one winger switch and 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators later, and Ribeiro has answered all of those criticisms.
With two first period goals, including a beauty of a stickhandle that turned a 2-on-2 into a 2-on-1 into a Ribeiro-on-Pekka Rinne, Ribeiro set the tone for the game with high end puck possession.
And when he later took a Trevor Daley shot to the jaw and left the game briefly, it barely seemed to slow him down. He returned in the third period wearing a full cage and blocked a Shea Weber shot in the dying moments, a go-the-extra-mile moment that was indicative of his evening.
And now, for some of the more evocative imagery of the night, I give you Mike Heika.
``I didn't have a headache and I saw them getting all of the power plays in the third, and I wanted to get out there,'' Ribeiro said between spits of blood into a Dixie Cup. ``I'll see the dentist tomorrow, but I really feel fine right now.
Here's Glen Gultzan on Ribeiro's condition:
"He's not as good looking as he was before. He's lost some teeth and he's got some stitches in his mouth. We're just thankful it wasn't a broken jaw or something like that."
After the jump, more on the Stars win over the Predators, which hockey players to have a beer with and Alex Ovechkin trolls his teammate.
- Mark Stepneski is back, and he also writes about Ribeiro's adventurous evening. [ESPN Dallas]
- A couple notable injury updates - Sheldon Souray is out another week to 10 days with a "mild high ankle sprain" and Tomas Vincour has an MCL tear and is expected to be out at least three more weeks. [DallasNews.com]
- Our friends over at On The Forecheck chalk this one up to just being one of those games that happens to a team during a season. [On The Forecheck]
- The Nashville newspaper, meanwhile, was focused on the return of Shea Weber from a concussion, and while he played a whole bunch of minutes, the Predators defense struggled. [The Tennessean]
- Why do Dallas Stars fans love Steve Ott so much? Let us count the ways. Bonus points for the awesome photoshop where he reminds me of Dr. Claw. [Thursday Morning Cupcheck]
- Bob Sturm demonstrates his remarkable mastery of timing by taking about how the Ribeiro line needs to step up just before Ribeiro did just that. Nicely done, sir. [Fox Sports Southwest]
- As Brandon fanshotted earlier in the day, here's the list of underrated NHL players topped by Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson. Now, this list was voted on by 179 NHL players, but I'm still surprised to see guys like Claude Giroux on the list. [Sports Illustrated]
- A fun list from Justin Bourne about the players he'd most like to drink a beer with. One current Star is featured on the list, and another former Star is used to define what he's looking for. [Backhand Shelf]
- We wrote a little bit recently about how the Stars, along with many other teams, are moving away from the traditional enforcer, and Brian Burke did the same thing to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday when he waived Colton Orr. Of course, being Burke, he had to lament the state of the game while doing so. [National Post]
- Meet the enemy: The Edmonton Oilers fell 4-3 to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday, but the bigger news was the team will be without rookie sensation Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for 3-4 weeks after he suffered a separated shoulder against the Chicago Blackhawks. [Edmonton Journal]
- Around the Pacific Division: Points for everyone! The Phoenix Coyotes took the Los Angeles Kings to overtime (of course they did) before Drew Doughty gave the Kings a 1-0 win. And the San Jose Sharks conspired to make Rick Nash's stay in Columbus even shorter as they came back to defeat the Blue Jackets 2-1. [Los Angeles Times/San Jose Mercury News]
- Not only do you get to see Stars prospect Patrick Nemeth assist on Sweden's game-winning goal over the Russians in the World Junior Championship final (it only took them 75 shots to get there), you get to hear the gleeful Swedish call and see possible translations. [Puck Daddy]
- The Russian loss didn't mean it was a bad day for Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin, who got to troll teammate Karl Alzner in both actions and photo since the Russians beat the Canadians in the semifinals. [Washington Post]
- Stephane Robidas talks about his foot and his fellow French Canadians after the game. If the Stars had the Adam Burish interview with Jamie and Jordie Benn that aired before the game posted, I would have linked that instead. Get on that, Stars web people. I'm sure it is awesome.