If there's one thing the Dallas Stars have proven this preseason, it's that Kari Lehtonen is already in midseason form.
The big Finnish netminder (tm Daryl Reaugh) has a .946 preseason save percentage after stopping 43 of 46 shots in last night's 4-3 overtime victory over the Florida Panthers.
He withstood what could only be properly described as a barrage in the third period, as the Stars were outshot 26(!)-3 in the final frame that they spend mostly on the penalty kill. But Lehtonen claimed all the special teams work may have been a good thing.
"A lot of work there in the third period,'' Lehtonen said. ``In the third period, we let the game get carried away from our hands. We took a lot of penalties. But it was good for me to play a lot of penalty killing. This is the part of the season where you want to get those situations and get different kinds of shots. It was good and it went well. It's nice to get a lot of shots when things go your way."
Uh, if you say so, Kari. Personally, I'd prefer if he had to face fewer shots in, well, every game for the rest of the season. But I guess you have to be a little bit crazy to be a goalie anyway.
After the jump, more on the Stars' victory over Florida, The Hockey News has one of the more perplexing season previews I've seen and what should happen when trash talking crosses the line?
- ESPN Dallas gives us many of the same quotes but a few more statistics from Tuesday's overtime victory. [ESPN Dallas]
- The Florida Panthers media was mostly focused on the solid performance of young goalie Jacob Markstrom, who is a major candidate to replace injured goalie Scott Clemmensen. Also, bonus photo gallery. [Miami Herald]
- Also from the Morning News, this time behind the paywall, a look at the strange and meandering development of one Tom Wandell. [DallasNews.com]
- How can you do a full Dallas Stars season preview without even mentioning Jamie Benn? I'm not really sure, but The Hockey News sets to prove out it's possible with this video season preview. It also features the most hick pronunciation of Stephane Robidas I've heard since leaving West Texas. [The Hockey News]
- Michael Ryder isn't the only member of the Stars family to beat up the Stanley Cup. [Razor with an Edge]
- Players do tons of community service events during the course of a season, so many that the events can blend into one another from a fan's point of view. But for the kids who are targeted, such as these Canadian kids whose class was visited by Sheldon Souray several years ago, each event can make a huge impact. [Edmonton Journal]
- With Mike Modano's retirement, there are several young players who could hold claim to the title of best American in the game. But which one is at the top? [Orange County Register]
- There was lots (and lots and lots and lots) written on the Sean Avery/Wayne Simmonds taunting incident that happened in Monday's New York Rangers preseason game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Simmonds will not receive a suspension, at least not yet, because the league says it cannot substantiate Avery's claims, but whatever the result, I think this article sums up what is a very complicated issue for the NHL - can we expect rules of polite society to apply to language used specifically to incite, and what larger implications does such language have? [Puck Daddy]