Lindy Ruff's playing career as a defenseman for the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers ran from 1979 to 1991. You probably know his playing career as much from fight videos as anything else, but what you might not know is that Ruff was no slouch when it came to firing pucks on net:
Check out that celebration afterwards, eh? That makes Jordie Benn's Penalty Shot High-Fives look like someone sorting laundry on Nyquil. Maybe Ruff
Lindy Ruff scored over 100 goals as a defenseman and another 11 in the playoffs. Granted, it was the '80s, when scoring was so prolific that fans with season tickets next to the benches usually wound up being credited with a few points by season's end. In any case, Lindy Ruff knows what he's talking about when it comes to a defenseman's game in the offensive zone.
Now whomever do you think this could be leading up to? Oh, you...you guessed it...already. So much for the suspense. Way to ruin the fun guessing game. Okay, fine, it's Klingberg. Here:
In addition to talking about how Klingberg is a big reason for the uptick in the Stars' power-play production, Ruff also had some thoughts on Klingberg's effectiveness at even strength.
"I think what he does 5-on-5 on the offensive side is really as good as any D-man in the league right now," Ruff said. "Let's say any good young D-man anyways."
Klingberg, 22, is quietly making his case to be included in the discussion for the Calder Trophy.
He is tied for fifth among rookies with 28 points in 39 games, including 10 points on four goals and six assists in his past six games. He is third among all rookies and tied for fourth among all defensemen in points-per-game output (.72).
"I think this probably last 15, 20 games he has really found a good balance in his game of not trying to play too much one-on-one and make sure he defends first, and find the holes, get involved offensively," Ruff said. "He's really found a good balance because there was probably seven or eight games in that middle stretch after he had a little success where he was trying what I would just call goofy plays, cross-ice plays through the neutral zone and then some one-on-one stuff standing at the blue line. Most of his one-on-one play is coming out of speed now, which makes him really dangerous." [NHL]
Klingberg's play has been noticeable all over the ice and the scoresheet, which is pretty plainly a dream come true from any team. To have a rookie who is healthy, savvy and as slick and cerebral as they come? It doesn't really get any better than that; and surely nobody appreciates the wonderful young Swede's presence more than a certain former defenseman with more NHL goals in his career than any of the blueliners that he coaches.
But seriously, it was the '80s, so Note: I just watched that Ruff fight video again, and I would like to recant any earlier statement about the relative ease of goal-scoring in the '80s. Lindy Ruff's totals are extremely respectable, he is large and intimidating, and I would never ever ever discount him or his playing accomplishments in any way. And even if I did poke fun at them, it would totally not be worth getting angry about or anything.
* * * * *
Trader Joe's has this melange of Gruyère and cheddar that you really have to try. It's not so soft-n-melty that it's in Brie territory, but it's not too chunky like standard cheddar. It is the Goldilocks of cheeses.
The Stars' Media Double Threat that is Josh Bogorad digs in to try to answer the following question: "So, how is it possible that in their last seven losses, the Stars have outshot every single one of their opponents - by an astounding average of more than 13 shots per game - but have a 0-6-1 record to show for it?" Highly recommend this one. [On the Radar]
Jim Nill confirmed that the Stars would look to move pending UFAs if the team is out of the playoff hunt in a couple weeks. Also, guess what adjective this story used for Jim Nill? You just never will guess. [NHL]
. Tyler Seguin brought Jamie Benn along to his sort-of-weekly appearance on BaD radio. This is your chance to hear the segment that made DBD's own Erin Bolen describe the captain as "adorable." In a very respectable hockey way, of course. [BaD Radio]
Jack Campbell to Idaho is not what you think, says Mike "Heika" Heika. [DMN]
It would be tough to find a better example of a single line winning you the game than the Stars' second set did in New York. [The Hockey Writers]
Big scoop from the SportsNet: The Stars "may need" to find some goalie help if they want to gear up for a playoff run. I really don't see Nill making a halfway move on this front, to be honest. Go big or go home. [SportsNet]
Mike Heika observes that the Stars need to pull together as a team during the final two months, just like they did in Madison Square Garden. [DMN]
Bob McKenzie's take on the Evander Kane situation is worth your time. Pretty much everything McKenzie writes is worth your time. [TSN]
Mike Ribeiro is not good at faceoffs. He's like, the worst, literally. [Dobber Hockey]
Former Calder Trophy winner Evgeni Nabokov was dealt to the San Jose Sharks by Tampa Bay yesterday for future considerations (ask Eric Nystrom what that means). Word is that Nabby will be retiring as a Shark, and that's pretty cool. Never forget that save, but only because the game ended well (and because Turco equaled him at the other end). [SJ Mercury News]
And I don't have any Eastern Conference stuff today because, as Derek has informed us, the East's playoff race is pretty much over. [The Hockey Writers]
If you didn't see John MacKinnon's odd column about "advanced stats" and Tyler Dellow's influence on Dallas Eakins and the Oilers, then Awful Announcing has a rundown of the situation for you. Lots to ponder here. [Awful Announcing]
Sean McIndoe's Power Rankings don't involve the Stars, understandably, but they are still worth reading for his on-point gripe about how the NHL calculates goal differentials. [Grantland]
I don't think I'll ever really understand how Ken Campbell's Power Rankings algorithm works, but he does right by Detroit by putting them atop the list. I mean, maybe not, but they are pretty good, and he tells a neat little story about them. [THN]
Kerry Fraser is here to settle your disputes about what "playing with a broken stick" really means. [TSN]
Finally, here is ESPN's 30 for 30 on the Soviet perspective of the Miracle on Ice. It's long, but it's fantastic.