Once the subject of trade rumors, Mike Ribeiro has been nothing less than the catalyst of the Dallas Stars suddenly prolific first line recently.
Ribeiro had a three point night and was named first star of the teams 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks, apparently going for another little victory lap. He was also named Puck Daddy's first star of the night and NHL.com's second star of the night for his pair of goals and assist on the Loui Eriksson power play goal.
The first line accounted for three of the five goals in the game and outplayed the listless Sedin twins, who have been slumping recently and couldn't find the back of the net again on Tuesday.
The production from the first line helped make up for a night of missed opportunities from everyone else, as I'm sure Jamie Benn, Adam Burish and Steve Ott feel they could have all nearly gone Sam Gagner with an eight-point night had the finishing been a little better.
"I thought (Ribeiro) was real good and real engaged," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. "He made some great plays. You just can't ask for more...guys really battled at the end of a road trip. We have to keep moving forward and stay on the grind here."
After the jump, more on the Stars win over the Canucks, Niklas Kronwall claims another head injury victim and Sean Avery is done with the Rangers organiziation.
- Yeah, that was one heck of a road trip. [ESPN Dallas]
- The Stars actually strengthened their hold on the Pacific Division with the win, as Mike Heika details in this paywalled gamer. [DallasNews.com]
- The Stars did provide far too many prime opportunities to the Canucks in the first half of Tuesday's game, but the Canucks weren't able to take advantage of enough of them and then simply got outworked by the Stars as the game went on. [The Province]
- Our friends over at Nucks Misconduct were not particularly happy with how the game was played or officiated. A couple little notes. While I understand the frustration on the Alex Burrows non-call, I think Burrows actually sold himself out of the call there. When you knock yourself down that hard and you're a player with a reputation (hi Ribeiro!), officials often roll their eyes and tell you to get up. Also, with the Vernon Fiddler and Steve Ott thing, I absolutely get that they are not real fun to play against. But a team with the likes of Ryan Kesler, Burrows and Max Lapierre should understand the value of that type of guy regardless. [Nucks Misconduct]
- If you were wondering what happened to Trevor Daley, it sounds like he got his back and ribs all twisted up when Burrows landed on his head. [DallasNews.com]
- The Stars spent Monday night partying at the house of new owner Tom Gaglardi, and the Vancouver Sun got all sorts of awesome, though sadly not incriminating, photos. [Vancouver Sun]
- No Brad Richards meant no profit for Prince Edward Island this year at Stars training camp. [CBC.ca]
- Playing in Vancouver is as close to Jamie Benn gets to playing in his hometown, and The Province chronicled his rise from the BCHL to NHL All-Star (and scorer of the game-winning goal against the Canucks) in five years. [The Province]
- Ever wonder why the Edmonton Oilers are so bad this season? This breakdown of their penalty killing breakdown shows it pretty clearly. [Backhand Shelf]
- Dear Detroit Red Wings fans. Although I know the idiot who beat up a local councilman for defending his family's friends who were wearing Chicago Blackhawks jerseys is in no way indicative of your fanbase as a whole, it does give you guys a significant black eye (no pun intended). [My Fox Detroit]
- Also from Detroit, your almost daily game of "suspension or not!" This time starring Niklas Kronwall for something that shockingly doesn't really involve charging. Personal thoughts on the hit - it depends on how much you buy that this is a "full body hit" and not a "primary point of contact being the head" hit. My gut says he should be suspended, but I can also see him being let off the hook. It's a predatory, extremely dangerous hit though, and one I think they should work on legislating out of the game. Whatever happened to a nice, clean hipcheck? [Puck Daddy]
- Your favorite player and mine, Sean Avery, was left off the clear day roster for the AHL's Connecticut Whale, meaning he will not be with them for the playoffs and his tenure with the New York Rangers is likely over. [ESPN New York]
- Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins was cleared for contact on Tuesday. Huzzah. [Puck Daddy]
- Meet the enemy: Coach Todd McLellan returned to the bench after battling a concussion but his San Jose Sharks continued to play uninspired hockey, falling 3-2 to the Edmonton Oilers in a shootout. [San Jose Mercury News]
- Around the Pacific Division: The Los Angeles Kings have finally discovered this wonderful thing called offense and used it to defeat the Nashville Predators 5-4. And the Phoenix Coyotes have gone from hottest team in the west to nearly out of the playoff picture with a 3-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. [The Tennessean/Arizona Republic]
- Other scoreboard watching: The Blackhawks are now only two points ahead of the Stars, and the Stars have a game in hand, after a 5-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues. The Calgary Flames beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-4 but lost Tim Jackman to an apparent head injury. And the Colorado Avalanche took the Minnesota Wild to the woodshed in a 7-1 win but may have lost Matt Duchene to a nasty-looking ankle injury. [Chicago Tribune/Calgary Herald/Denver Post]
- So, apparently everyone has been spelling Nicklas Grossman's name wrong since he was first ranked by Central Scouting (as evidenced by this article from The Hockey News published immediately after the 2004 draft, the Stars weren't the first people to get the name wrong. Apparently the correct spelling is Nicklas Grossmann. Nice of him to tell someone in a timely fashion. [The Sporting News]
- I know, I know, I should link an interview with Ribeiro or Richard Bachman or Glen Gulutzan. But this music video about life on the road is far too well made to pass up.