Every day that goes by, my appreciation of Dallas Stars head coach Lindy Ruff grows.
After Ryan Garbutt did some no good, very bad things (spearing Corey Perry at the top of the list) in last night's game, the veteran coach had a surprising comment regarding his player.
It tells me I haven't done a good enough job with Ryan Garbutt yet. He's come a long ways, but there's some nights we act like a young team. We were a young team tonight.
When you're battling a certain reputation, the onus is on the players to clean their game up. The coaching staff is their to support them and keep them on the right side of the line. That Ruff took such ownership of the work that still needs to be done to repair Garbutt's reputation is very nice for me to see. It's a sign of a guy that is invested in his players and making them better -- of coaching both on and off the ice.
It establishes that culture of accountability that the Stars have seemed to lack at times in seasons past.
If your coach is going to take his part of the responsibility, then he's going to expect you to take your part. Culture is set by example at the highest levels, and Ruff showed again the accountability that is expected of this team.
It's a big part of a winning culture -- a culture that Ruff and general manager Jim Nill want to instill in Dallas.
Mark Stepneski's take on last night's loss. [Stars Inside Edge]
ESPN has a video recap of the game five loss if you'd like to relive it. [ESPN]
The Stars wind up on the wrong side of the 'Three Stars of the Night' list -- the dishonorable mentions. Kari Lehtonen let five goals in on 21 shots....ouch. [Puck Daddy]
The Chicago Blackhawks / St Louis Blues series is a lot closer than I think some were anticipating given the Blues' tailspin heading into the post season. They had yet another overtime game last night, and Patrick Kane was the one putting it away for the Hawks. [SI.com]
The world was fascinated with #rallybelly, but Russian Machine Never Breaks was enamored with the furries behind Bruce Boudreau and their taco sign. [RMNB]
Business Week released an index of the smartest spending professional teams among the major four sports in the US. The Chicago Blackhawks topped the ranking. The best Dallas area team was the Texas Rangers, who came in at 10th overall (4 of 30 MLB teams). The Stars come in at 100th overall (24 of 30 NHL teams). [Business Week]
Tuukka Rask was named a Vezina finalist, but that's not why this link is here. It's for the image in the second comment. [Stanley Cup of Chowder]
Canucks Swedish goaltender Eddie Lack was excited to represent his country for the Worlds, but he'll now miss out due to what is being called "general maintenance". [Vancouver Sun]