The guy with the best name in hockey wasn't supposed to have the best chance to make the Dallas Stars' opening night roster. Certainly there are players ahead of him with more experience and more pedigree.
But Jyrki Jokipakka won his spot the old-fashioned way, says head coach Lindy Ruff.
Jordie Benn had 180 games of NHL experience. Patrik Nemeth was a second round pick and played for the Stars in the 2014 playoffs. Jamie Oleksiak was a first round pick and had logged 59 NHL games.
Jokipakka? He was taken in the seventh round (195th overall) in 2011 and had jumped into 51 games last season.
But Jokipakka has earned a spot in the lineup to start the season, and has earned the trust of the coaching staff.
"Nobody would have expected him do this, but he earned it," said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. "And he earned it by how he played."
For his own part, JJ confirms something that our eyes have been telling us:
"I feel more comfortable and more relaxed," Jokipakka said. "I'm trying to enjoy it more."
There's a lot more under the link. Go get it. [SportsDayDFW]
There were a few nice milestones to come out of last night's disappointment (which Erin recapped here), among them Cody Eakin notching his 100th career point and Jason Demers his 100th career assist. [SportsDayDFW]
Also, Mattias Janmark scored on his first shot in his first shift, YET AGAIN. [SportsDayDFW]
The Avalanche announcing team had special challenges.
"Taylor Seguin" who— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) October 11, 2015
are you kidding me Ovechkin? pic.twitter.com/ei7LNXXkQJ— Stephanie (@myregularface) October 11, 2015
Jaromir Jagr is awesome. https://t.co/oZuAmyU3y9— NHL (@NHL) October 11, 2015
...which also resulted in this:
#Panthers Jaromir Jagr becomes the 2nd oldest player in NHL history with a multi-goal game.— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) October 11, 2015
At 43y-176d of age, Jaromir Jagr is the 5th oldest goal scorer in NHL history. Only T. Selanne, D. Harvey, C. Chelios & G. Howe did it older— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) October 11, 2015
Also scoring two goals for the Panthers was Reilly Smith (another guy who's doing great after being traded by the Bruins, thanks for asking):
Jussi Jokinen got in on the action, too (with some accidental help from Steve Mason).
So, uh, do we give Steve Mason an assist on Jokinen's goal? 4-0 Cats!!! pic.twitter.com/uQyjMjVDmy— Shane O'Donnell (@shane1342o) October 10, 2015
The Flyers took this massacre so much to heart that afterward they held a players-only meeting – just two games into the season, and two games into the tenure of new head coach Dave Hakstol. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Phil Kessel may have been the best Pittsburgh Penguins player on the ice during their loss to Dallas on Thursday. Change seems to have done him good, and few players know more about that than Tyler Seguin. [Toronto Sun]
No one enjoyed the Detroit Red Wings' Thursday night victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs more than former Red Wings defender Mike Commodore. As it turns out, he has serious beef with former coach Mike Babcock, and he let it fly on Twitter. Josh Cooper elaborates. [Puck Daddy]
Finally: Two games into the season, and Henrik Lundqvist is already getting his highlight reel full up. Lundqvist made 37 saves during the New York Rangers' victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets, but none better than this one: Caught desperately out of position during a rush by Ryan Johansen, Hank reminds everyone that if you strike at a King, you'd better not miss.