Scott Burnside sure knows how to make my blood boil.
The ESPN.com national hockey writer knows his stuff, but he sure doesn't like or trust Kari Lehtonen for reasons I really cannot fathom.
He got together with Pierre LeBrun for this article on the "biggest surprise in net so far," and they closed the article talking about the Dallas Stars netminder who has done nothing short of everything his team has asked of him so far.
And this is what Burnside has to say about him.
Having watched Lehtonen struggle early in his career in Atlanta, the jury is still out for me on whether he's a true No. 1 goalie, someone who turns in 65-70 starts a season and maintains the consistency that separates the average from the good and the good from the great. But early on, the Stars have been one of the surprise teams in the league, and Lehtonen's play has put them in a great position to secure an unexpected playoff berth.
See, to me that sounds like a guy who didn't watch the Stars at all last year and who doesn't acknowledge that guys like, oh, Roberto Luongo, Martin Brodeur or Marc-Andre Fleury all have their up-and-down games during the season. Also, realistically, how many starters go 65-70 games unless the backup is questionable? That's been a point of contention against guys like Dave Tippett and Marc Crawford over recent years.
After the jump, the Stars want to be just like those Texas Rangers, catching Gary Bettman in some creative truth telling and Mike Modano really has no filter between his brain and his Twitter account.
- My attempt at this tie in didn't work yesterday because it is cold, gray, damp and occasionally rainy in St. Louis right now, but one of these days, I will be successful! Here's another story about the potential ties between the Stars and Texas Rangers, though this one is behind the DMN's paywall. [DallasNews.com]
- While there were a few odd-man rushes against the Stars last night, this article tracks a wonderful trend this year - those odd-man rushes are way, way down from last year, and that's making everything on the back end so much easier. [ESPN Dallas]
- I love Adam Burish a little more every time I read a quote from him, like this one in a blog entry about Trevor Daley's shootout winner from Tuesday night's win over the Phoenix Coyotes. [DallasNews.com]
- Lehtonen and Studly "Hammer" Wonderbomb... excuse me, Sheldon Souray make an appearance as "non-stars" who have impressed Kevin Weeks this week. [NHL.com]
- Stop me if this shocks you: Razor is impressed by Glen Gulutzan's early season work. And while that might sound a little sarcastic, he does bring up several nice points about exactly why the new coach has fit in so well with this group, at least so far. [Razor With An Edge]
- This isn't a surprise if you've been reading Brandon's excellent work on the sales documents that have come out during the bankruptcy proceedings, but Tyler Dellow goes a little bit further and catches Gary Bettman in a lie, or at least a knowing misstatement of the truth, in an interview he gave about a year ago about who, exactly, was running the team. [mc79hockey.com]
- Meet the enemy, part the first: Hey guess what? Jonathan Quick is probably going to start tonight for the Los Angeles Kings. I will give you the appropriate amount of time to contain your excitement. [Los Angeles Times]
- Meet the enemy, part the second: On the other side of the ice, the Kings are searching a little bit for some consistent offense. Hmm, sounds like another Pacific Division team I know who they might be facing tonight. [LA Kings Insider]
- Around the Pacific Division: Jonas Hiller's new mask is made of win. I will steal the last line from this Puck Daddy article as the teaser: If Burt Reynolds ever wore a hockey mask, it would be this hockey mask. [Puck Daddy]
- Oh Mike Modano. There are Twitter powers of good and Twitter powers of evil, and I'm not quite sure which of those this Halloween costume idea of yours falls under. Warning - if you're at work, the picture on the linked page is not NSFW but might make a passerby think it is. [SportsGrid]
- It was an optional skate in Frisco on Wednesday, but a few veterans, like Stephane Robidas, Brenden Morrow and Mike Ribeiro, showed up and faced the media afterward. A couple fun things I noticed: Robidas looks like he's wearing a Love for Lokomotiv bracelet, and those might be the oldest pair of shoulderpads I've seen in a while behind his left shoulder. And finally, for those of you who care about such things, I'm about 99 percent sure the first reporter's voice you hear is Mark Stepneski asking a question.