The Dallas Stars have once again snapped a losing "streak" at one – and once again, much of that is down to the man who wears the "C," says Mike Heika.
In Saturday's contest with the wounded but dangerous Montreal Canadiens, and with an iffy holding call on Jason Demers that resulted in a potentially momentum-destroying Habs goal, Jamie Benn "grabbed a potentially volatile situation by the lapels and shook it into submission," Heika writes:
[B]enn made a crushing hit on Montreal defenseman Jeff Petry and that opened up a clear path for Tyler Seguin to whip in his 18th goal of the year, and the game pretty much was under control at that point.
"That was a big moment in the game for us," Ruff said. "You need your best players to be your best players, and tonight he was. That's big for our team. He's a good leader, he's a guy that senses when the team needs to be physical, and he'll lead the team in that category."
And the Captain led by example all evening long, with two goals, four hits and First Star of the Game added onto the Seguin assist. He leads the league with 22 goals (and is second in points with 44), but it's the way he takes responsibility when the game pendulum could swing the wrong way that Jason Spezza would like to point out:
"There's no doubt about it, he's our leader," said [Spezza], who had a goal and two assist. "He senses the urgency when the team's dipping. He's got a great temperature for the room, and he has skills to back it up. He can take over games at certain times."
Read the rest at Heika's place. [SportsDayDFW]
Last night's banquet of offense began with Dr. Giggles reminding everyone why he has a better-than-a-point-per-game career record against the Habs, by way of this delicious fake-out on Mike Condon.
And Lindy Ruff reminds everyone that this sort of thing is liable to happen when your best players are being your best players:
Razor does enjoy his Stars victories. Watch him review the "old-fashioned public whoopin'" as only he can. Bestageddon ahoy!
Segs and JaBenn did this Sportsnet video before the game. Rubber duckies are discussed. Consider yourselves spoiled.
The Stars' drubbing of Les Habitants punctuates a long and frustrating cooling-off period for a good team that has fallen on hard times since losing All-World goalie Carey Price to a recurring lower-body injury in late November. Captain Max Pacioretty was enervated enough to use a word that rhymes with puck in his own post-game interview. [Sportsnet]
More from Heika: a review of the Stars' resurgent power play, which struck three times to put the game out of reach. [SportsDayDFW]
Last night in Murder Death Kill:
- The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 with two Patrick Kane goals, one in the shootout.
- The St. Louis Blues ended the Calgary Flames' seven-game winning streak on a three-point performance from Vladimir Tarasenko.
Hockey Hall of Famer Dickie Moore, who won six Stanley Cups with the Canadiens, passed away yesterday at the age of 84.
Hall-of-Famer Richard ‘Dickie’ Moore passes away at 84 https://t.co/pX2vgJSWGn— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) December 19, 2015
Unfortunately, the news of Moore's passing was in danger of being overshadowed by the behavior of the Toronto Maple Leafs organization, for whom Moore played in 1964-65 and who opted out of a moment of silence at last night's game against the Los Angeles Kings.
No moment of silence at ACC to commemorate passing of Dickie Moore, Hall of Famer who played for Leafs in '64-65. Brutal. Absolutely brutal.— Ken Campbell (@THNKenCampbell) December 20, 2015
This should have been very easy to get right, as the Stars demonstrated.
It doesn't seem to have jinxed them, at least, so they have that.
Alan Muir picks the best NHL players who aren't getting the attention they deserve so far this season. [Sports Illustrated]
Meanwhile, the Canadiens got their Elsa on – or tried to – in this cover of a Frozen favorite.
Finally: Tyler Seguin, photobombing Jamie Benn. #SeguinProblems