How's this for a team-building exercise?
John Klingberg, oh my gracious me.
He passed the eye test with flying colors, as his poise, patience and skill were readily apparent throughout the game. From a couple of very nice zone exits to some good creative work in the offensive zone, I am already prepared to start picketing if anyone suggests sending him away ever. How wonderful was it to have a right-handed shot on the back end for the first time in *checks game logs* literally forever? Or, as Lindy Ruff has put it (per Mike Heika):
"We’ve talked about it," Stars head coach Lindy Ruff said of his lack of right handers on the back end. "It’s tough when you get squeezed up that wall. Overall, it’s a situation that when we get squeezed that direction it really hurts us."
"[Klingberg has] defended well, been in on the offense, skated well," Ruff said. "He plays the type of game that fits in with how we play."[DMN]
On a completely unrelated note, check out the game table from last night and see who led the Stars in Corsi last night. Oh, that's right, it was Klingberg.
I'm usually one to preach level-headedness when it comes to game reactions, but that was just wonderful and you should have a party to celebrate it. Yes, it was ugly at times--who expected the win that brought the Stars out of this funk to be anything else?--but Kari's flat-out ridiculous play, the penalty kill's actually killing penalties, and a couple of timely goals from players who the Stars have needed to chip in, including Garbutt scoring while falling after being hooked...that's something to be very happy about.
(Just don't go back and look at the overall defensive zone play too much, because gahhh.)
* * * * *
Wednesday Links are here, and they are happening whether you like it or not, much like the U2 album that I found on my new computer.
The must-read piece of today is Scott Burnside's fabulous piece on Mike Modano the player, friend, and father. Please give this one a read; you will be glad you did. [ESPN]
Here's a recap that you actually really want to read because it will make you feel good. [Stars]
Lots of people have called the trade a "win" for Montreal, but let's be honest: you can't really look at either of these players at this stage in their careers and get super excited about acquiring them. It's business. [The Sporting News]
Mike Heika chatted with everyone yesterday. Apparently Stephane Robidas is "doing great," but don't tell the people in Toronto that. [DMN]
Even Canada was starting to notice that the Stars were slumping. Past tense. [Calgary Herald]
Dallas has been a Track Meet Team in the past, and they have certainly looked like a Track Meet Team this season, too. But tell me, Jefe...what IS a Track Meet Team? Jen LC explains. [Puck Daddy]
The Stars' fun little Scooty Yer Booty drill is being compared to a movie that no one needs to know anything about. [The Hockey News]
Jori Lehtera scored a natural hat trick last night, which is really impressive, and...oh, it was against Buffalo. Stand down. [NHL.com]
Could Colorado actually trade one of its young core players if they don't shape up? Somehow I doubt Joe Sakic wants to start pulling that trigger this early in his tenure. Then again, Patrick Roy may have a secret clause in his contract that allows him to literally "fire" underperforming players into "the sun," so who knows? [Ottawa Sun]
Daniel Alfredsson, future member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Or not? Oh my, I just can't decide. Thankfully, Sean McIndoe already had this debate with himself, so I don't have to. Also a good place to get those "it's not the Hall of Very Good" jokes out of your system in memory of the guys at Fire Joe Morgan. [Grantland]
Save five minutes to read this story about Rob Skrlac and the Kamloops Blazers over at Pension Plan Puppets. [PPP]
As the AHL continues its experimentation with 3-on-3 play in overtime, all signs point to the shootout's eventual demise. [Globe and Mail]
Michael Russo has confirmed with the NHL that Vegas is really a thing. Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly has said that the NHL likes Vegas, but they just aren't sure if they like like Vegas yet. Here's hoping Florida gets moved there, just for the symmetry if nothing else. [Star-Tribune]
Forget the Dishonor for Connor thing, because Mr. McDavid injured his hand during a fight Tuesday night. Just imagine the uproar if it turns out to be serious? My word. [NHL.com]
Finally, I searched YouTube for "Travis Moen Highlights," but the best thing I found was a "Welcome to Montreal" compilation from like thirty years ago. So here is a video of Roussel and Moen trying to hit each other in the face as hard as they can while a bunch of grown men stand by and do nothing about it: