The Dallas Stars have put the fear into their fans for two home games in a row, but both times, in different ways, they've shone through – and it looks more and more like this year's squad is the real McCoy.
Lindy Ruff sees his team winning more games by answering tough treatment with a tough pushback:
"It says a lot," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said before the game when asked about the Anaheim comeback. "Our core group of veterans there and leadership stepped up and really made a difference. You want to be allowed to push back, you got to get back in games, you just got some stuff that's going to happen in every game and it's your answer to the adversity. Last year I thought there were times we had a tough time dealing this adversity. The early showing this year is there's been a couple games where we've really pushed back hard and been able to win games."
Perhaps even more importantly, the team and the fans got their first taste of 3-on-3 overtime last night – a format that favors the Stars on paper and proved decisive in practice.
The new overtime format is designed to reduce the number of shootouts, and it definitely has that possibility. Benn played with Tyler Seguin and John Klingberg, and that trio was electric.
It's a combination that could serve the talented Stars well this season.
"It's a lot of open ice," Benn said recently. "You can do a lot of things with all of that open ice."
Read all of Heika here. [SportsDayDFW]
You knew the Stars are 8-2-0, but did you also know that their penalty kill now ranks among the best in the league? Oh yes, it does. [DMN]
Goals are delicious. Who wants some? How about this one, which was the OT game-winner by Captain Jamie Benn?
Now that Patrick Sharp has broken the seal, if you will, the goals are everywhere! Sharpie tied the game twice last night – here's how he did it the second time:
Of course, all may have been for nought if Antti Niemi hadn't made this save on a late third-period breakaway by notorious Star-killer Radim Vrbata :
"[T]he Central ... is the best division in hockey and frankly, it's not even close." Dominik Luszczyszyn discusses the difficulty in picking the regular-season winners in the Stars' super-stacked cadre, as well as the very real possibility that a Central squad that just misses the top 5 will be locked out of the playoffs in favor of a Pacific team with fewer wins. #JustMDKthings [The Hockey News]
It can only help the Stars that Patrick Sharp and Johnny Oduya are turning out to be worth every penny, says Alex Prewitt. [Sports Illustrated]
The Colorado Avalanche is falling behind in the Murder Death Kill Division, despite a plethora of offensive talent, in part because of a talented goalie suffering through the worst start of his career. Which pretty much leaves them this season in the fix the Stars were in last season. [ESPN]
When you get worried about the Stars surviving this shark tank, think about this.
Last season Jamie Benn won the scoring title with 87 points this season he's on pace for 136. I get its really really early but that's nice.— Darren Dutchyshen (@dutchysc) October 30, 2015
Guess who's cracked the top 5 in Puck Daddy's NHL power rankings? Guess who hasn't? It's okay to look. [Puck Daddy]
Also at Puck Daddy: Rookie defender Noah Hanifin (Class of Ultra-Prospect) is staying up with the Carolina Hurricanes, making him yet another slide-rule player whose ELC clock has officially started. [Puck Daddy]
Shawn Horcoff was involved in a questionable hit on Vladimir Tarasenko during last night's Anaheim Ducks loss to the St. Louis Blues. Is the Komrade a candidate for supplemental discipline? Matt Larkin weighs the possibility. [THN]
Horcoff hit on Tarasenko pic.twitter.com/63E1JSS11Q— Stephanie (@myregularface) October 30, 2015
Finally: BarDown is assembling what it boldly calls the definitive guide to NHL players in Halloween costumes for 2015. They've got some doozies – including Erica and Steve Ott as Harley Quinn and the Joker (Suicide Squad editions). Go now! [BarDown]