For all the masterful goaltending Kari Lehtonen has given the Dallas Stars, especially early in the season, it took a rookie to get the team's first shutout victory.
Yes, Richard Bachman's 1-0 blanking of the New York Rangers was Dallas' first shutout of the year, and they needed every bit of it as Trevor Daley was the only player to come through with a bit of offense.
Bachman's biggest asset has been his calm demeanor under pressure. Even when the puck is loose around his crease, like it was several times in Tuesday's game, he's able to maintain his fundamentals and keep himself in position.
And right now, he's riding a wave of emotion as the Stars play in front of some of the big East Coast media markets.
"It's amazing, it's fun. I try not to get too nervous and stay on the same routine just to calm the nerves, but you have to walk in past all of the famous people who have played here, and you do get a little jitters. And I think it took a little while to get loose, but I kind of settled in for the third.''
Also, just because it made my night, there is nothing that makes me smile quite as much as excited Daley. For as low key as he is in interviews, he never holds back with the celebration.
After the jump, more on the Stars victory over the Rangers, what might the Stars do when their injured and suspended players return and the best video I might post this calendar year.
- And while Bachman is certainly enjoying his quick start, he's also quick to say that he's trying not to look too far ahead or get too caught up in the moment. [ESPN Dallas]
- The DMN's likely paywalled gamer wasn't up in a place I could find it by the time I went to bed (hey, a girl's gotta sleep), so here's the AP version on their website with a headline that makes me miss NHL.com. [DallasNews.com]
- Bachman's big night is only outdone by one of those freaking Boston Bruins, at least according to Puck Daddy. Oh well, at least the Bruins beat the still-reeling Los Angeles Kings. [Puck Daddy]
- There are several high-quality quotes in this gamer from the New York Times, the first from Brad Richards about how the Stars lulled them into a boring game and the second from the ever-awesome John Tortorella about his lack of knowledge of Bachman. The NYC media must have salivated when learning he was coming to Madison Square Garden. [New York Times]
- Our friends over at Blueshirt Banter give their take on the game and address the unwashed masses who think somehow, someway, Sean Avery might have made the difference for New York. [Blueshirt Banter]
- Full disclosure: I can't get this video to play on Firefox on my demon-possessed work MacBook. But I hear it's awesome, and I eagerly await seeing the uncensored version on next week's 24/7. [ProHockeyTalk]
- Written before the game, the league's official site takes a look at how both sides have fared since Richards left for the big city lights. [NHL.com]
- In Heika's weekly newsletter, he speculates the Stars will keep both Tomas Vincour and Philip Larsen up when Mark Fistric returns from his suspension but send Vincour back to the AHL when Adam Burish is healthy enough to play. [DallasNews.com]
- Meet the enemy: The natural enemies in the wild of Mark Fistric, the New York Islanders, had some issues with the fourth line and the artist formerly known as Tomas Kaberle of the Montreal Canadiens in a 5-3 loss. [Montreal Gazette]
- Around the Pacific Division: It was a good night to be a Stars fan, with the Kings going down 3-0 to the Boston Bruins and the San Jose Sharks unable to completely capitalize on a late tying goal in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche. [NHL.com/San Jose Mercury News]
- I don't know what I think about this church service/Buffalo Sabres jersey party, but I do know that it's full of Awesome. [Puck Daddy]
- Okay, I know I should use this space to link one of the multiple post-game interviews from the Stars official site, whether that's Bachman, Daley or coach Glen Gulutzan. But this Christmas-y gold from the San Jose Sharks was far, far too awesome and hysterical to pass up. I might give my left arm for the Stars to do something like this. Please, team. I'm begging here.