The Dallas Stars have found themselves another Swedish swan prince. This is becoming an annual thing for them. Rookie forward Mattias Janmark has been a big part of the team's early, gangbusters-style success – and it's looked so effortless that we can easily forget how remarkable this is.
Mike Heika is made of sterner stuff, and he's taken a good look at the challenges Janmark has encountered, and conquered, in the transition from Swedish to North American ice.
"It's a lot different, I didn't really think about how different it would be," Janmark said of playing on a sheet that's 85 feet wide, 15 feet narrower than European rinks. It's a bit more of a puck possession game back home, and you have more time. Here, it's a bit smaller and tighter. But I think it's fun, I think you get more opportunities here."
In addition, Lindy Ruff talks about exactly why Janmark ended up staying when he could have completed one more year in the SHL:
"First, he can skate. He can really move his feet, and he's created some open ice for himself," Ruff said. "And I like his puck management, he does the right thing with the puck at the right time, and that's a big deal.
"You don't have much time out there," Ruff added. "In a game, you might have the puck less than 30 seconds, and in those 30 seconds you have to make 10 to 15 decisions. If you're making the right ones at the right time, you'll succeed."
There's more, more, more at Heika's place. [SportsDayDFW]
Mark Stepneski has plenty of news in his Friday update, not the least of which is glad tidings about forward Curtis McKenzie, who will only miss 2-3 weeks with the hip injury he sustained last Tuesday via Nikita Nesterov. "I was preparing for a lot worse just sitting there with the pain. When I got the call that there were no tears or no surgery required, it was one of the happier moments in my life." [Stars Inside Edge]
The Stars are #winning, and Razor is feeling it. Here's the latest episode of The Emporium.
You'll also be happy to know that the Stars have made the Awkward Family Photo a running gag.
ESPN has made a list of five teams that can beat the Chicago Blackhawks to the 2016 Stanley Cup. Now ask yourself if the correct question is, "Are the Stars on it?" or "Where are the Stars on it?" [ESPN]
If only things were as happy in Anaheim, where the Ducks are off to a simply terrible (as in, 1-4-1) start. Greg Wyshynski enumerates various scenarios involving head coach Bruce Boudreau either getting fired (a nightmare) or keeping his job (also a nightmare, but for longer). [Puck Daddy]
Carey Price and CCM have donated thousands of dollars' worth of hockey equipment to the Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association, where Price played growing up.
The Calgary Flames dressed up as the Avengers as a Halloween treat for kids at Alberta Children's Hospital. Iron Man may be a step up for Dougie Hamilton, whose last costume was a lot blonder but almost as butt-kicking.
Elsewhere in Alberta, former Stars prospect and current Edmonton Oiler Luke Gazdic shaved off his considerable head of hair in solidarity with a nine-year-old cancer patient.
Sad news: Coach Jimmy Roberts, the very first pick by the St. Louis Blues in the 1967 expansion draft, has died of cancer at age 75. He was a five-time Stanley Cup champion with the Montreal Canadiens.
Roberts' untimely death is a sharp reminder to think of the #HockeyFightsCancer campaign, especially as the Stars will play their lavender home game tonight against the Florida Panthers.
The NWHL supports this cause, too, as evidenced by this Vine from the New York Riveters.
All the cool people are hanging out at the United States Grand Prix in Austin this weekend. That includes Formula One fan Teemu Selanne, who's some kind of big deal in hockey, apparently.
Finally: This is an Instagram video of 2015 Stars first-rounder Denis Gurianov moonwalking. I'll just leave it here.