Brenden Dillon showed us flashes of what we could expect from him in the final game of the year last season.
The Stars were eliminated from the playoffs, so he was called up in order to showcase what he could do. It's safe to say that the Stars fans that were watching that game were extremely impressed.
As this season has gone on, nothing has changed for how Stars fans feel about Dillon. He has slotted in as the #2 defenseman on the team, and looks like he's belonged there for years. While he won't ever put up any huge offensive numbers, he is extremely steady in his defense, and is trusted with a lot of time on the penalty kill as a result.
Now that a full 30 games have passed, more people besides Stars fans are beginning to take note. While he has been impressive all season long, it often takes time and consistency for a defensive defenseman to be noticed. And on a team that has been largely inconsistent this year, the play of Brenden Dillon has been refreshing to watch.
With as well as he has fared on an extremely green and depleted Dallas defense, does that mean that he is getting any talk in the race for the Calder trophy? Well, yes and no. Daniel Wagner from TheScore.com sums up how things are likely to play out for him in the race.
Most of what was just said about Brodin can be repeated about Dillon, who is the only rookie defenceman to start a higher percentage of his shifts in the defensive zone than Brodin. While he faces tough competition, however, it's not quite the toughest on his team. Dillon is 6th in ice time among rookie defencemen, but he leads all rookie defencemen in ice time on the penalty kill, averaging just short of 3 minutes per game.
Working against Dillon, unfortunately, is that he is the second sexiest of the least sexy picks for the Calder. Brodin is grabbing more attention as he leads all rookies in ice time and there likely isn't room for two defensive defencemen to be considered for the Calder, if there's even room for one. Still, the Stars have to be thrilled with Dillon, who went undrafted and signed in Dallas as a free agent.
While Stars fans hope that he will be in the discussion for the Calder trophy, it's not likely to happen. As Daniel mentions, actual defensive defensemen are hardly ever mentioned in the category to begin with. For some reason, as is the case with nearly every trophy in the NHL, it's really more about points, rather than who does the best job at their position. It's just the nature of things in this league.
Still, the fact that he is getting mentioned at all on the national level should be a boost to Dillon's confidence. It is certainly well deserved. He may be a rookie and make mistakes from time to time, but he learns from them quickly. His play has been extremely strong all season. It's safe to say that Stars fans are looking forward to many more years of Brenden Dillon as a Dallas Star.
Coming up in today's links: A beautiful salute to "the Captain,"the advanced technology used by the NHL, and Joe Morrow impresses in his debut for Texas.
- Before we shift gears fully, here's some advanced stats on all rookie defensemen, and how they compare to each other. As expected, Dillon is up at the top of the pile. [Fear The Fin]
- Many of you know Trey Hill -- or at the very least his work. For years he has followed the Dallas Stars around, taking photographs of the players and team. He is responsible for the behind the scenes shots on the road trips. His photo is what made "the warrior sword" famous years ago. He has a very touching send off of the captain. Grab some tissues and be ready to cry some manly tears. [Square Root Of Nine]
- This may not be 100% hockey related, but it's close enough for a link. Someone tried to troll Alex Ovechkin on someone else's Wiki page, and this man was able to track him down with very little effort. Guess what city he was from before you click over, and see if you're right. [Russian Machine Never Breaks]
- Down Goes Brown takes a look at all of the wonderful technology used by front offices across the NHL. I chuckled pretty hard at the Predators one. [Down Goes Brown]
- Here's a list of the 8 greatest trade blunders in NHL - When an established player suddenly becomes a superstar after leaving their team. Thankfully, Dallas only gets an honorable mention. [Grantland]
- Mr. T was a celebrity shooter for an intermission during a Blackhawks game. He made his shot, and also said "I pity the puck!" Good stuff. [Puck Daddy]
- Kiprusoff is one of the players who has been mentioned a lot lately as we approach the trade deadline. Apparently he's making it known he has no plans of leaving -- even if he is traded. [Puck Daddy]
- Okay before you read any further, you need to click and watch this gif of Bruins Assistant Coach tossing his ear piece into a fan's beer behind him. [Barstool Sports]
- Have you watched it? Good. Now you can learn that he actually had nothing to do with it, which makes it even better. [Puck Daddy]
- The Texas Stars had a big night last night. Joe Morrow was strong on the puck, as well as Chiasson and even Glennie. Despite the number of goals, Campbell looked good too. (Seriously, there were some crazy fluky goals.) Here's the recap. [Texas Stars Hockey]
- And for your video of the day, Mark Stepneski threw together a video of Joe Morrow highlights. He's number 39 in black.