He's so sneaky, he can slip through a defense like water.
When Dallas Stars winger Loui Eriksson was announced as the top player on Sports Illustrated's Most Underrated NHL Players list, there was some joking about how being known as the most underrated for multiple years in a row should have made him overrated by now.
Eriksson was followed on the list by Jamie Benn, who might be a much bigger star now if he played in a market with more national visibility. With his combination of size, speed, strength and silky-smooth hands, how could the national media ignore him if he was in, say, Toronto?
But neither player is too off-put by being on that list.
"I don’t know. I had it last year, too. I’m just flying under the radar. I guess it’s because I’m quiet," Eriksson said. "It’s nice to have that recognition. I just play my game and try to be good and it’s working for me."
I wanted to pull a second quote from the article for two reasons. First, I think Stars coach Glen Gulutzan is spot on when he says that Benn will not be on this list for long, especially with the way he's playing. And two, this might be the only time I've seen the word "flamboyant" used to describe a Dallas player who isn't Mike Ribeiro.
"You can see Loui, for sure, but Benny is a young guy who is on that list because he is just turning 22 and he's just emerging," Gulutzan said. "Loui's got that sneaky, smart way to fly under the radar because he is so cerebral and does everything real well. But I don't think Benny will be on that list for too much longer, because Benny is a little more flamboyant, he can hit and he's a power forward. I don’t think Benny will stay on that list."
After the jump, praise for Richard Bachman's ability to fill in on short notice, a double-dose of Razor mind vitamins and even the Anaheim Ducks fans get in on the goon act.
- With the great performances by Benn and Ribeiro in Saturday's win over the Edmonton Oilers, it was easy to overlook the performance of rookie Richard Bachman, who didn't find out he was starting until 45 minutes before warmups. Gerry Fraley takes a look at him in this paywalled story. [DallasNews.com]
- Benn gets a nice little bit of national publicity as he's named one of the hottest players last week. [NHL.com]
- An extremely slow news day is Stars world is partially made up for by the fact that Razor offers not one but two blog posts for your perusing. The first is a collection of "either/ors." [Razor with an Edge]
- And the second is some pondering on the state of USA Hockey. [Razor with an Edge]
- Play "spot the factual error" in this USA Today story in this collection of notes from around the NHL. [USA Today]
- You might have noticed in that column the note about Pittsburgh Penguins injuries, which became a big concern on Sunday when it was announced that former Stars winger James Neal is out "weeks" with a broken foot. Apparently, this is why he never tried to backcheck with Dallas (I kid... sort of). [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
- The man who is responsible for Joe Nieuwendyk's career with the Stars, Jarome Iginla, scored his 500th career goal with the Calgary Flames Saturday. But is he on the trade market? [The Globe and Mail]
- Meet the enemy, part the first: The Anaheim Ducks won (or lost?) the battle for the West's worst with their 7-4 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets, but the most interesting part of the game was that four fans were tossed from the Pond after getting into a "skirmish" with some Jackets in the penalty box. [Puck Daddy]
- Meet the enemy, part the second: The downside of the win? Another key injury for the Ducks as Jonas Hiller had to leave the game in the first period with a "lower-body injury," turning the reins over the Iiro Tarkki as Dan Ellis and his problems are also shelved with a strained groin. [NHL.com]
- Around the Pacific Division: What happens when a team is struggling on offense? Line changes, and that's what was going on with the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday. [LA Kings Insider]
- Those big, bad Boston Bruins want you to believe they're also defenseless when it comes to taking checks. At least, that's the case Brad Marchand is trying to make about his clip that gave Sami Salo a concussion in the game against the Vancouver Canucks. [Puck Daddy]
- Dale Hansen talks hockey? I'm as surprised as you, but president Jim Lites made a visit to the WFAA studios to talk ticket prices.