If you’re looking for signs of the good times ahead for the Stars, last night’s game had a few of them. It was the youth movement's time to shine. The top players in plus-minus last night? Cameron Gaunce, Kevin Connauton, Tyler Seguin, and Valeri Nichushkin (and Erik Cole, but that doesn’t go along with the narrative). The goal scorers last night? Jamie Benn, Colton Sceviour, and Valeri Nichushkin (and Erik Cole, but that doesn’t go along with the narrative). Top point earners last night? Tyler Seguin and, damn it Erik Cole, get out of the narrative!
The point is, players like Gaunce and Sceviour have stepped in on short notice, when the injury plague hit the Stars, and they’ve immediately looked like they belonged. Sceviour’s even begun a Chiasson-like goal scoring rampage. But while these very green rookies have been fun to watch, what’s really getting exciting is the blossoming of Valeri Nichushkin. Another goal to his collection, which, if you were to take out the first dozen games or so when he was finding his way, has him on a pretty torrid scoring run. Maybe that pre-season talk of the Calder can be resurrected… And I don’t say that in isolation. Some guy who you might have heard of, name of Jaromir Jagr, had a few words to say about Big Val, who he thinks is the standout rookie in the league this season.
"I saw like three games, he was a very good player the way he played. Maybe it was his best three games I watched, but I said, ‘This guy is going to be the best in the world one day.' I've never seen anybody dominate at that age the way he dominated those games that I saw. I think he can be one of the best in the league because he played that kind of style - strong on the boards, beat guys one on one. Some guys are fancy. When you're fancy the defense is going to recognize it, so they're going to worry about you. But when you're strong, they cannot do anything about it. He was so strong and he was skating and he had skill. He's got the tools to be the best player in the world, that kid." [Fire & Ice]
A guy who has been arguably the best in the world saying that our kid is going to be the best in the world? There’s a whole host of ‘Young Soviet ruling the world’ jokes running through my head right now, but I shall refrain. Instead we’ll just leave it with that happy thought of Big Val, wearing a Dallas Stars’ jersey, becoming the best player in the world...
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7-2-1 against the Pacific Division. Cracks me up. That and other stats from last night’s game. [Stars Inside Edge]
Also of note, and no I’m not gonna link any of it, but Phoenix, Minnesota, Nashville, and Vancouver (obviously) all lost last night. If only Edmonton could have beaten Colorado the Stars would have had the sweep.
Unlike some teams' blogs, Vancouverites get their recaps up quick. Of course, Harrison Mooney 'Watched This Game,' and apparently so did Nucks Misconduct. Careful with that second one though. You might be as frustrated reading it as he was watching it.
Brad Richardson - "We lost, but sometimes you just got to look at the scoreboard and say ‘when in Rome', you know?" Yeah yeah. I know. This is from the Canucks-Wild game, and not last night's game. But if you've ever wanted to see postgame quotes the way they should be given, then read this. If I find 'quotes' from last night's game as well, then I'll post them. [The Province]
The Stars top line is trending. Or being written about on the NHL website anyway. I’ll take it. [NHL Insider]
Time to start panicking! The Stars tumble in Power Rankings from the 13th spot to the 14th. Let's steady the ship boys! (also of note, what on earth is going on down in Florida? The Panthers? For real?) [SB Nation]
If anybody has some excesses of holiday hate building up, head on over to this blog and let it all out. Vent about why you hate all the other Central Division teams, and our own too. Go on, it'll feel good. [Conference III]
Anybody watch 24/7? I didn’t, but Down Goes Brown did and he wasn’t impressed. Which is lucky, because it means we now have HBO watchability power rankings. [Grantland]