Now that summer is officially under way for Dallas, Stars fans can look southward towards Austin to watch some playoff hockey. After all, we have been following the draft closely for a several years now, and there are a lot of names on the roster that we recognize.
There are even a number of them who spent some time in Dallas, gaining valuable NHL experience, before being sent back down to help Texas in the post season. Once of those players is Alex Chiasson, who was turning heads during his NHL debut.
I suppose scoring six goals in your first seven NHL games will do that for you.
However, Chiasson suffered an unfortunate injury that kept him out of the remaining five games of the NHL season. It also happened to coincide with the Stars' five game losing streak. During his time off the ice, he was ready to get back and help the Stars as soon as he could. And, while he may not have been able to help Dallas, he has already been a great help to the team in Austin.
Last night, the Texas Stars continued their series against the Milwaukee Admirals. Going into last night, the series was tied 1-1. Unlike the NHL, the AHL first round is only a "best of five" series, making each victory absolutely crucial. This time, however, Chiasson returned to help them along.
With the game still knotted at 0-0 in the third frame, Chiasson stepped up and made a huge play. I'll let Stephen Meserve from Hundred Degree Hockey take it from here:
It all came down to the third period for the two clubs. Chiasson's goal came as he bumped Chris Mueller off the puck and passed to Dowling. Dowling sent the puck back to Chiasson, who tipped it past Hellberg for the 1-0 lead.
"You want to be that player, the guy who steps up. There's a lot of guys here who can do that. I'm glad to be back here and helping the team win."
Shortly afterwards, Kevin Henderson took an extremely undisciplined penalty, checking Kevin Connauton after an icing touchup.
"If you want to win, you have to stay out of the box," said Desjardins. "It's an emotional game. There's a lot going on, but we have to stay out of the box and we know that. The guys are committed to doing that."
It was a huge win for the Texas Stars, especially considering that the Admirals got six of their NHL players back for this game as well. Texas led the league in points during the regular season, so anything short of the Calder Cup Finals will likely be seen as a bit of a disappointment. They now need just one more win in order to advance to the second round.
The Texas Stars play again tomorrow night at 7:30, so make sure you keep an eye on the scoreboard. You can always read up on them at 100degreehockey.com, or you can follow Stephen on twitter (@100degreehockey).
Coming up in today's links: Not a lot from Dallas, as the players have begun going their separate ways. However, there is still plenty of playoff action, and lots of exciting Western Conference games. Oh yeah, the Eastern Conference is "playing" too.
- Friedman's 30 thoughts are always interesting to read. Not only does this one include picks for trophies, but some nuggets about the Stars' former GM, Joe Nieuwendyk [CBC]
- In the East, Boston salted the game away before the second frame even ended, with a 4-1 victory over the Leafs. 7 wins to go until that first round pick is ours. [NHL]
- However, there was plenty of other entertainment, as Phil Kessel was nearly non-existent against his former team. [Puck Daddy]
- Meanwhile, the Pens had their game won about two minutes into the second, when they scored two quick goals to put them up 4-0. Yawn. [NHL]
- It looks like the Islanders know they are no match for the Pens, and might be resorting to some nastier hits. This kneeing on Jokinen is definitely suspendable. [Puck Daddy]
- Over in the West, the Sharks and Canucks kept it an exciting one goal game until the final five minutes, when Marleau was able to add an insurance goal. [NHL]
- The Sharks announcers were put to the test last night, being selected for the national broadcast. They're no Ralph & Razor, but they did give "the old 1-2" to the men in green suits up in Vancouver. [Puck Daddy]
- If you want to know why I'm cheering for the Sharks in the playoffs this year, well there's a couple of reasons. The first is that there's not really any other teams higher in the Western standings that I care for. The other is getting to learn about other cities and their history. [Battle Of Cali]
- Here's a great piece on Eric Lindros, and the battle that he had with concussions. Back when he was playing, the symptoms were not really recognized, and he was criticized for it. [ESPN]
- For your video of the day, here's a great Stanley Cup spot. I just wish they had a reason to add some Stars highlights to it too.