Anyone who criticized Ruff for scratching Morin in favor of Moen, well, I guess you can either be quiet now. Or you could point out that almost anyone should score given that same opportunity, so let's not be too hasty. Either way, the Stars capitalized in a game where they had to: on the powerplay and off St. Louis mistakes. That's the way to beat opponents that are better than you in a lot of ways, and Dallas finally did that Saturday. Good to see.
Ryan Garbutt's goal (and a couple of Josh's Tweets about Garbutt on the penalty kill) got me thinking about the winding road Garbutt has traveled. In fact, it turns out that I wasn't the only one to be thinking about this, as Mike Heika asked Steve Ott how he tried to avoid becoming a huge anchor on his team's hopes while still making everyone on the other team kind of hate you. Here's part of what Ott told Mr. Heika:
Ott’s last suspension came in 2009, and he said he learned a lot from making bad decisions that hurt the Stars in the past.
"Y’know, I don’t think it’s the penalties or suspensions or even the fines that really kill you. I think the hardest thing is walking back into the room and facing your teammates when you know you have been a detriment to your team," he said. "The hardest part is the guilt factor of having to face your own teammates and tell them, ‘I’m sorry, I hurt the team with what I did.’" [DMN]
I think Garbutt will feel a lot better after a game like last night. Let's hope he chases that feeling instead of whatever he was chasing against Winnipeg a few games back, because I much prefer this Ryan Garbutt.
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Sunday Links are free* of charge. *(please send me gifts)
Read about the Stars winning a game against a Central Division opponent! [Stars]
Alex Goligoski's "lower body bone" injury is nearly a thing of the past (but not quite yet). [DMN]
Nashville's Jumbotron team is trying to copy the Stars' crew, but they have a ways to go, says Josh Cooper. [Twitter]
Edmonton may be collapsing like a dying star, but Nail Yakupov isn't worrying himself with that. He rates his shape as "A+". [The Hockey Writers]
What did the Sharks get for Christmas? [Battle of California]
Michael Ryder hasn't been thrilled with his lower ice time for much of this year. Now he has the mumps, so that means zero ice time for a while. A lot of Devils have or have had the mumps this year. [Devils]
Speaking of tough times in New Jersey, watch Lou Lamoriello go full Craig MacTavish as he announces that he is stepping in to coach the team until Scott Stevens, Adam Oates, or Paul MacLean(?) is ready to step in. [NHL Video]
Kevin Connauton scored a goal and added two assists in Columbus's 6-2 paddlin' of Boston last night. [ABC News]
The Islanders finally picked up a loser point this year thanks to the following sequence as described by Lighthouse Hockey: "The Isles entered the third period up 3-0 and outshot the Sabres 14-6, but Buffalo scored on half of those six shots, in a span of 5:12. The sequence didn't reflect particularly well on surprise starter Kevin Poulin nor the defense in front of him. After 45 minutes of good work and a power play thanks to a diving call on Zemgus Girgensons, the Isles shut off for two critical mistakes that changed the game." [LHH]
I would like to congratulate Dallas fans for managing to stay off the Jersey Fouls Top 10 list for this year. [Puck Daddy]
I would not like to congratulate Dallas (the team) for only making the Top 10 Goals list thanks to the Tomas Tatar goal against. [THN]
Finally, here's the latest installment of the Road to WAR for hockey. How can you factor in things like score effects? In other words, how can you take a game like Dallas/Toronto and compensate for the fact that the Stars only really started dominating after they were solidly behind? [War-on-Ice]