That game last night...well, if you ever want to know what the phrase "score effects" looks like in person, check out that third period. After the Stars had been good but not good enough, they started pouring it on in the latter stages of the game while the Leafs backed off. It looks good and gets the crowd into things, but more often than not, it's just the dead cat bounce before the final rest. Gotta be better, boys.
And just a quick word: this isn't D2: The Mighty Ducks. Posts don't count.
Tyler Seguin has found a home with the Stars. Whether he's making a teenage girl's day with an awkward turtle Instagram-worthy picture at a fan event or sporting his tattoos while gleefully singing "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer," it's clear that he is enjoying life and the game of hockey right now. Shoot, he's even bantering with referees during power plays while fending off Edmonton defencemen. The guy is in a good place right now.
And while we have recently looked at how the trade from Boston fostered Seguin's growth, one of the key factors in his explosive play has, of course, been Jamie Benn. As Pierre LeBrun says:
What Seguin has found in Dallas is a partner on the ice who has helped him blossom. Stars captain Jamie Benn is arguably the most underrated star player in the NHL. Perhaps no longer after opening eyes in Sochi in February, but you still don't sense Benn gets enough credit for the kind of player he is. Seguin, for one, can't say enough about the impact Benn has; it has produced a one-two punch like few others in the NHL.
"I think in this league it's hard for one player to do much on his own. You definitely need that other guy," Seguin said. "Look around the league: there's Toews and Kane, Crosby and Kunitz, Getzlaf and Perry, and now Giroux and Voracek, the list goes on. With Jamie, we both push each other, we're both competitive guys, we want to succeed and be young leaders."
Seguin said he and Benn challenged each other between the second and third period Sunday night in Edmonton to lift their team to a comeback win, the Stars down 5-3 at the time. Seguin scored twice in the third period to force extra time, and the Stars won in a shootout.
"Going into the third period on Sunday night, we were hard on each other, and I think we responded," Seguin said. "Jamie especially has been really stepping up his game lately." [ESPN]
Check out the whole piece; you get a complimentary video of Barry Melrose naming Seguin as his Best Player of 2014. Good choice, Barry.
ESPN Wasn't the only outlet to toss some love towards Tyler Seguin's new BFF, though:
Benn has played a role in Seguin’s success, and not just because the pair have good on-ice chemistry. Seguin moved into the same building Benn lived in last year, and both guys have since moved into houses just a couple streets away from one another. "I think our personalities fit," Benn says. "He’s quite the talker, and he loves being out there, and I’m a laid-back guy who doesn’t say much. He brings out a little more in me, and I try and shut him up every once in a while." [SportsNet]
What more can you say about these two? In the midst of what is a very trying season, the Stars have two of the brightest young talents (and personalities, in Seguin's case) in the league. That's a pretty good gift.
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Christmas Eve Links are here. Enjoy them while they're fresh before some obscure relative steals them off the mantelpiece.
Here is a recap. Let's just forget about that game and go open presents already. [Stars]
Robidas misses the salad days of Dallas, but he still loves the organization. [DMN]
And on that note, here's a low-quality version of the tribute video they showed on the 'tron last night. [YouTube]
Speaking of the Great Screen in the Sky, Puck Daddy was amused by the Kim Jong-un needling done by Jasons Walsh & Danby (and the whole team). [Puck Daddy]
Josh Bogorad wonders if the Stars might have turned a corner on their Western Canada victory tour. Hey, a four-game winning streak is a winning streak. [Stars]
Need a little pick-me-up? Here's Tyler Seguin doing a cover shoot for SportsNet magazine. He is wearing a shirt in this one. [SportsNet Video]
Check out how Brenden Morrow turned into Tyler Seguin (sort of). This is a really cool rundown of the longest transaction trees for every NHL franchise. [Undisclosed Injury]
The Stars are finally--finally--shining, says Nick Pellegrino. [Gaming Today]
Here's a fantasy look at who has benefited most when playing with Benn and Seguin on the top line. [Dobber Sports]
Arctic Ice Hockey checks out how shot location has impacted the Jets' numbers this year. [AIH]
Mike Smith has been a disaster for the disastrous Coyotes this season. [Puck Daddy]
The #FancyCats took another shootout Monday night, scoring the only goal in a seven-rounder against Pittsburgh thanks to this one-handed beauty from Aleksander Barkov. [NHL Video]
Ovechkin's best bearded friend who isn't Santa Clause has made a return. [Russian Machine Never Breaks]
We Just Scored is a fun website for playing with each team's goal horn; now the Hockey Writers have ranked the horns. The Stars come in at number nine, but there is a good argument there for putting them higher. Someone should also explain to the author how Dallas adds another horn blast for each subsequent goal. These are difficult topics to explain to people at cocktail parties who ask What Sports Journalism Looks Like. [THW]
Finally, with a tip o' the cap to Puck Daddy, have a look at the St. Louis Blues' mascot, Louie, as he attempts to murder a couple of nice men. He finally succeeds: