They've still got it.
And don't tell me I was the only one who was worried all that nice momentum from the Stars 6-1-2 pre-Olympic run might vanish, poof!, like the Russian national team's Olympic medal hopes. Instead the Stars picked up right where they left off, with a solid defensive effort, no, seriously, plus good goaltending from Kari Lehtonen, a multi-point night from Jamie Benn, a Tyler Seguin goal, and yes, even an Antoine Roussel offensive zone penalty!
But on a night where the Stars penalty killers were infinitely more offensively threatening than the powerplay unit, perhaps we should celebrate the taking of penalties. I mean, if not for that foolish delay of game penalty taken by Cody Eakin in the first period we would have missed Brenden Dillon undressing Jeff Skinner and scoring the first shorthanded goal. And had Ray Whitney not hooked Riley Nash in the second, Jamie Benn wouldn't have been able to split the defense and finish beautifully against Anton Khudobin. So way to go Eakin and Whitney. Way to take one for the team. Literally.
On another note, did anybody else know Khudobin is from Kazakhstan? I didn't even know that was a real country.
In other less important news from last night, Minnesota, Los Angeles, Winnipeg, and Nashville all won. Pretty much every team we were cheering against. Except Phoenix! HaHA! All is not lost! Although the Yotes did get a Bettman point off of the Jets. Typical.
Whatever. The Stars are back in 8th place and control their own destiny. I'm ok with that.
* * *
Post-game notes. [Stars Inside Edge]
And post-game quotes. [Sports Day DFW]
The Stars have had a pretty good penalty kill so far throughout the season. And now Jamie Benn is on it? Only going up. [Sports Day DFW]
Puck Daddy's Three Stars of the night. And before you ask, no, the Stars don't get any love. The only mention of them is for Antoine Roussel's charging penalty. Obscene Alex said it best:
.@wyshynski The Olympics are over. Everyone go back to ignoring Jamie Benn. Shorty & 2 assists playing sick, but no mention. Jesus Christ.— Obscene Alex (@ObsceneAlex) February 28, 2014
Speaking of Jamie Benn, and yes, I did totally plan that segue, there was this great article from last weekend. Screw being one of the NHL's Three Stars of the night. Jamie Benn is one of the Three Stars of Life. Or at least, this article makes me think so. [Square Root of Nine]
Of course, where would he be without the support of a caring family back home? I know this video might seem like it's rubbing Canada's victory in the face of all us Americans, but really guys, this is about Jamie Benn. Focus on Benn. And his family. [Global BC]
And if that wasn't enough for you, there are also these videos, of family and fans reacting to Benn's Olympic heroics. They're all so cute. So Canadian. Bless.
But seriously. Watch them, and maybe pretend to be Canadian, just for a minute. And then thank dahstars988 for the heads up on all those videos!
Yep. The clock is ticking, and thus we are talking NHL trade deadline. Or more specifically, Down Goes Brown is talking NHL trade deadline. [Grantland]
Ok, so Sean McIndoe mentions Ryan Kesler as a potential trade piece. Well here's an article to do whatever the opposite of fueling the fire on that rumor is. [NHL.com]
And lastly, this Tim Thomas save is embarrassing, and hilarious, and amazing, all at the same time. [Puck Daddy]