I keep forgetting he was a rookie last year, having only had a cup of tea in the 2011-2012 season. But regardless, Jordie Benn has been one of the more pleasant surprises at the start of this season. He's looking more comfortable in his role, and yes, confident. Coming into the season there was some speculation about who would capture the last defensive roster spot, especially with Jordie on a two-way contract. With Aaron Rome still some time away from his return though, Benn's position seems solidified. When asked about the chance of Kevin Connauton seeing game action, Mike Heika said, "I think Jordie Benn is the swing guy, and he's been very good, so I don't think the coaches see a need for a change."
A statement backed up by comments from assistant coach James Patrick, speaking about Benn's development.
"Jordie has stepped in and we haven’t been worried about using him one bit. He skates well, he’s probably got the hardest shot of the D on the team and with his mobility he can play at both ends. We’ve been pretty happy with his game. There’s still a lot of room for growth playing at the defensive end, but he’s competitive and he works at it. We’re happy with the way he is playing." [Stars Inside Edge]
Room for growth? That's a good thing. And if he continues to play as he has the first two games of the season, then he's off to a good start already.
* * *
Any of these questions from you guys? Mailbag time, with Mike Heika. [Sports Day DFW]
And here's part 2 of the chat. Or part 1. I don't know what order they go in, nor am I particularly bothered to find out. [Sports Day DFW]
After Erin's breakdown of one of the Florida goals against the Stars, this one is quite interesting. A breakdown from a Capitals standpoint, of a Dallas goal against. Chiasson's second on the season, and the game winner last Saturday night. [Japer's Rink]
And here's a link none of you have seen before. NONE. Not even Squeda. Question time for Lindy Ruff. [NHL.com]
Too early for power rankings? Absolutely. Nevertheless, here are power rankings! [Too Many Men on the Ice]
And in closing, the soap opera that was the Vancouver goalie competition added a chapter last night, with the first meeting between Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider. Puck Daddy gives you the whole saga leading up to it. Oh yeah, and I guess one of them won. [Puck Daddy]