And no one on the current roster shows more zeal for digging in the dirty areas than Antoine Roussel, who got his fourth GWG of the season "in a very Philadelphia way," says Mike Heika:
The veteran winger was relentless on a shift in which Cody Eakin and Patrick Sharp helped keep possession and were able to get the puck to the net. When Eakin tried to flip in a puck off a Jason Demers shot and Neuvirth was there to stop the shot, Roussel simply found a way to get underneath everyone and push the puck in.
The combo platter of skill and stick-to-it-iveness helped dispel the odor of a rather unsatisfying victory over the Carolina Hurricanes earlier in the week and demonstrated the Stars' readiness to improve, Heika writes:
The Friday game was important for a lot of reasons. Dallas had a poor game against Carolina Tuesday and found a way to win 6-5. That victory had a bittersweet taste, as the Stars knew they had plenty of holes to patch. But after two strong days of practice, Dallas was a different team on Friday.
Instead of getting hemmed into their own end, the Stars made quick passes out and relieved pressure through strong positioning and teamwork. Instead of fumbling chances or chipping the puck in, the Stars pushed into the attack zone with purpose and made Neuvirth work for everything.
Heika has more on the lessons learned and applied at his blog. [SportsDayDFW]
He also added this bit of discussion fodder in his game recap:
Lindy Ruff said Thursday he doesn't buy the theory the Stars' small defensemen can be overpowered on the cycle in their own end. Instead, he said the Stars' skill can help get the puck out quickly. It seems Ruff was right on Friday, as Dallas stayed out of its own end with skill more than power.
Catch the rest at Heika's place. [SportsDayDFW]
Guess who just kicked the Montreal Canadiens off the CBS Sports power rankings mountain? ...No fair. You peeked.
Last night in Death Race 2015:
- The Chicago Blackhawks beat the Winnipeg Jets 2-0, as Trevor Daley returned to the line-up after a neck injury and Patrick Kane extended his point streak to tie Sidney Crosby's 25-game run. [ABC News]
- And the Minnesota Wild dropped a game to the Arizona Coyotes in OT 2-1, as former Star Anders Lindback earned First Star of the Night for his 27-save game. [NHL]
Here's the goal that got Rooster last night's First Star of the Night honors.
Razor does love his Stars victories.
And people love hearing Razor loving Stars games.
Razor just referred to Seguin's shot as "sinister" and Neuvirth's glove save as "sassy" in the span of 5 sec. Can he just call every game?— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) December 12, 2015
Dad, Example and Scary Point Assassin Jason Spezza has pledged $25,000 in each of the next two seasons to start a fund to help kids with personal and financial challenges play hockey. The Jason Spezza Scholarship Fund is also getting an assist from Texas Land & Cattle Company. [Dallas Stars]
You know how many points JaBenn and line-bro Tyler Seguin bring to the party – but did you know that the Stars'
47 49 goals without either of the ArtRoss Brothers put them ahead of teams like the Blackhawks and the Penguins in percentage of total team goals? #DeepOffenseThings [NHL]
Also from NHL.com: Will Jamie and Tyler break 100 points this year? See what the Fantasy Insiders say. [NHL Fantasy Insider]
Connecticut Whale defender Molly Engstrom has made history as the first NWHL player to earn a suspension. She'll sit for one game after a punch to the head that dropped Buffalo Beauts center Meghan Duggan. [The Hockey News]
Text-dieting, personalized smoothies, vitamin D boosting – as the world of sports nutrition gets more advanced, players from Alex Ovechkin to Tyler Seguin to Connor McDavid are emerging as exemplars of better living through chemistry. [SBNation]
Funny comedy penalties! During last night's victory over the Detroit Red Wings, the New Jersey Devils' Jordin Tootoo was responsible for as odd a too-much-man call as you're likely to see, possibly ever.
Kerry Fraser has posted another enlightening "C'mon, Ref" column, this one on the nuances of how high-sticking is (or isn't) called. [TSN]
Jaromir Jagr has tied Marcel Dionne for fourth place on the all-time goal scorers list and continues to win at life. Here's the tally, from Thursday night's 4-1 victory over the Washington Capitals. [CBS Sports]
Jagr celebrated on Twitter with the Florida Panthers trainers afterward.
Goal # 731, finally :) me and ,,The best trainers" pic.twitter.com/8eqPVY9mJC— Jaromir Jagr (@68Jagr) December 11, 2015
And Kevin Allen has called the 43-year-old legend an odd but appropriate symbol of a bright future for the Panthers' rising youth movement. [USA Today]
Logan Couture had just made it back from a fractured fibula, and now he's out again. The San Jose Sharks center has had emergency surgery for "a small arterial bleed" in his right thigh, the result of an injury sustained in Wednesday night's loss to the Calgary Flames. [San Jose Mercury News]
Elsewhere, Vancouver Canucks defender Dan Hamhuis required surgery for facial fractures and will be out at least two months after taking a slap shot to the face during a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers.
Hamhuis (facial fracture) out ‘at least’ two months, says Desjardins https://t.co/SZGDGcJpEr— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) December 11, 2015
An "unprecedented" streak of injuries and inconsistent play has left some Canadian fans unable to name their own team's starting goalie. Justin Piercy has been keeping score. [CBC]
If the Calder Cup playoffs started today, only three teams from the AHL's Pacific Division would be in the playoffs, says Stephen Meserve. Will the Texas Stars be able to hang on to their slot? [100 Degree Hockey]
Here's another link from Sean, this one to this week's Texas Stars mailbag.
Finally: You think you know ugly Christmas sweaters? Check out the Sarnia Sting's ugly Christmas uniforms. Oh yeah, they went here. [BarDown]