I've said repeatedly that Eric Nystrom has rather quickly managed to worm his way into my cold, black, dead little heart, and Tweets like this are a big part of the reason why.
And tonight is an especially big night for the Dallas Stars winger as he gets to play a road game at the New York Islanders, the team his father, Bobby Nystrom, helped lead to the second-most recent dynasty in Stanley Cup history (don't listen to what Detroit Red Wings fans tell you - their Cup wins were too spread out for true dynasty status).
This will only be the third time in his five-year career that Nystrom will get to play in the same arena as his father did (and sadly for Islanders fans, it's still the exact same arena), and he's excited about the opportunity.
"We've got to win, that's what it's all about," Nystrom said. "I've got a lot of family and friends coming. They're excited. I'll have a good following and I'm really excited about that, but it's just another game we have to win."
Bobby Nystrom, who is known as Mr. Islander, wore a Stars hat to the Rangers game at Madison Square Garden Tuesday. When asked if he expected his dad to do the same when the Islanders are playing, Eric laughed and said, "I think he'll probably just wear a suit."
After the jump, the goalie decision for tonight's game, a behind-the-scenes look at the east coast portion of the road trip and Ilya Bryzgalov takes on the origins of the universe.
- In a decision that surprises no one at this point, Richard Bachman will start in goal for the Stars tonight. [ESPN Dallas]
- I was remiss in not linking this yesterday in the flood of wins-in-New York links, so today I give you not one but two installments of the most recent behind-the-scenes photo series. It's not a San Jose Sharks holiday video, but it's nice in its own way. [DallasStars.com/DallasStars.com]
- Rick Gosselin played high school hockey in Michigan, and he has a hot sports opinion on what the NHL's realignment plan will do for teams in non-traditional markets in this paywalled column. [DallasNews.com]
- Our friends at Hundred Degree Hockey talk about the unique pride they've felt watching Bachman's early success. [Hundred Degree Hockey]
- This is nominally a review of a fairly in-depth (and expensive) book about NHL general managers. But it's of interest to Stars fans because the author, Jason Farris, will soon be one of the business-side muckity mucks in the Dallas organization. [BCLocalNews.com]
- In the Los Angeles Kings coaching saga, Darryl Sutter has apparently been approached with the coaching position. And he also, apparently, holds a huge grudge against his brother Brent for not getting canned with him with the Calgary Flames. [Calgary Sun]
- Meet the enemy, part the first: So, who votes the Stars should keep an eye on Matt Moulson tonight? They're apparently not the only ones who have ever overlooked the Islanders forward. [Sports Illustrated]
- Meet the enemy, part the second: Our friends over at Lighthouse Hockey apparently had a busy day, but they did have this fanshot on defenseman Steve Staios being out with (guess what) a concussion. [Lighthouse Hockey]
- Around the Pacific Division: In a race with the Columbus Blue Jackets to stay out of the NHL basement, the Anaheim Ducks used two Niklas Hagman goals to defeat the Phoenix Coyotes 4-1. [NHL.com]
- No matter how many awesome faces Radek Dvorak makes or how many triumphant chest bumps we get from Trevor Daley, it seems like the Stars just can't find their way onto the weekly Hockey Hugs list. There's still plenty of fun to be had here anyways. [Puck Daddy]
- The Stars might not have been on last night's season debut of HBO's 24/7, but they are scheduled to at least be opposing-team participants in the next two episodes. Since the series wraps up each week's filming on Monday, the Stars game against the Rangers should be on the episode that airs Dec. 21 while their mid-week home game against the Flyers should be in the Dec. 28 episode. To tide you over to that time (oh please let the HBO microphones pick up on some of Ott's legendary yapping), I present to you the unquestioned star of the first episode, Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.