You may not have noticed, but some of us in these parts are pretty okay with how Tyler Seguin has played in all three zones this year. More frequently has he been spotted with an opportune stick lift or even a hit in behind his own blue line as he does his part to ensure that the Stars don't allow more than their 3+ average from night to night.
Even with Razor mentioning that Seguin lost coverage a bit on the first Colorado goal Tuesday, you could see throughout the game that #91 was concerned with getting the puck from his zone to the other one, with making sure that he wasn't abandoning his responsibilities. It's been a trend throughout the season, and it's even been cited as a reason for Seguin's recent goal-scoring atrophy--which is silly, by the way. Seguin will score more goals this year. Lots more.
Ryan Lambert is the latest one to weigh in on this topic, and he's even more audacious with his praise of the Stars' top center:
Seguin's one of those guys who gets bagged on for not being good defensively but I'm not really sure where that comes from. I think a lot of it — and this goes for just about any player who puts up a ton of points but is seen as "irresponsible" or whatever — comes from the fact that he gets so many puck touches that of course he's going to turn it over more than, say, an above-average third-line defensive center.and PK Subban get painted with the same brush: They're too enterprising to be good defensively. But for every three turnovers they commit in trying to do something amazing, how many times do players like this actually puncture the defense and create a scoring chance?
But we expect that and therefore don't praise or even notice when it happens unless it results in a goal. We do not expect turnovers from players like this, and on the rare occasion they do happen, all we have for these players is groans.
I think an Yzerman comparison, especially from someone like Jim Nill, who watched that older No. 19 play for more than a few years, shows what Seguin at least could be. No one questions his elite offensive ability, but he's not exactly Patrice Bergeron in his own end (well, who is, I guess?). Thus, he is Bad Defensively. Which strikes me as being a bit of a jump. If he's in his own end less than the other team's, isn't that where he ought to be? His CF% in Dallas is close to 54 percent this season. Last year it was 52.2 percent. And his zone starts aren't exactly as far to the right as Jonathan Toews, either.
And look, when he's on the ice, the Stars have scored close to 60 percent of the goals in the last two seasons. When he's off it, they don't even crack 50 percent.
You wonder just how long the Party Boy Doesn't Care angle is going to follow him around. When he wins a Stanley Cup, maybe? That's what did it for Patrick Kane, who's rightly viewed only for his on-ice play, which is in some ways more deficient than even Seguin's. Not that you'd know it from the coverage.
This guy is about two or three years away from being one of the top three centers in the league, and I'm not sure that's really up for debate. He's 23 years old and he's basically a guaranteed 40-goal guy who dominates possession and is steadily improving in areas where he's had problems. [Puck Daddy]
The Kane/Seguin comparison is a good one. With Seguin, we had complete hearsay about supposedly raucous behavior that he and his family have vigorously denied. Patrick Kane beats up cab drivers after drinking underage, but his image is doing just fine, thank you very much. I don't begrudge Kane his regenerated reputation either; winning can make fans love anyone, and Chicago is the El Dorado of Excellence these last few years. Little wonder that Patrick Kane is widely seen as an American superstar as opposed to a pudgy grump a la Phil Kessel.
For anyone looking to get fans to take a kindlier perspective on their game (and in Seguin's case, such a view is already warranted), there is no better elixir to spoon-feed the people than victory itself.
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If you haven't seen the commercials yet, you can sign up to take a shot on Marty Turco during intermission Feb. 27th. On-air promos are currently running on FSSW encouraging fans to register for the chance to Take on Turco during intermission of the Colorado at Dallas game on Friday, Feb. 27th at the American Airlines Center. Basically, any adult who resides in TX, OK or LA who has at least played some hockey and skated before (please don't make a mockery out of this) can win an autographed Turco jersey, two tickets to the game and three real live hockey shots on Turco. I promise that I will give you American money dollars (really!) if you pull the Forsberg/Jokinen B move on Marty, successfully or not. Please enter so that we don't have to see Luke from San Antonio fall down then fan on three straight shots, embarrassing us and Turco in the process. If you score, I will write a two-thousand word article about your shot attempts. It's up to you, though. [Fox Sports Southwest]
Jason Spezza "hopes to develop into Jeff Carter," says Elliotte Friedman in this week's 30 Thoughts. [SportsNet]
The Stars played one of their best games last night, except for the parts where they didn't. Lindy Ruff was bummed about the result yet proud of the majority. Kari Lehtonen said, "It just sucks." [DMN]
Some people think that Dallas has won the Dillon/Demers trade, but I say that's a bit much. Again, this trade wasn't just about getting an overall better player. Contracts, Dillon's RFA status, handedness...those all played into it, though we may never know quite how they coalesced for the purposes of the trade. [Hockey Writers]
The Stars supposedly checked in on Johnny Boychuck's status, but the Islanders aren't moving him this season. I'm guessing this was just part of Jim Nill's work to gauge the overall market for defensemen more than a genuine attempt to procure the player. My guesses are kind of worthless, though. [Ottawa Sun]
Did you miss the Stars' scoreboard goof on the Nationwide Super Bowl commercial? [Fox Sports]
Will Antoine Roussel score 20 goals this season? An empty-netter Tuesday certainly would have helped. [Hockey Writers]
You can support the Garland ISD Education Foundation with your ticket purchase for tonight's game (before noon today). [Star Local]
Evander Kane was healthy-scratched Tuesday night for disciplinary reasons; the trade rumor mill promptly exploded. Personally, I've always envied the Jets for having Evander Kane, but his play this year (on the third line) has been definitely insufficient for the money he's making ($5mil+). As with most trades, it would all depend on what Winnipeg wanted. He is a very good player. [Winnipeg Free Press]
Devan Dubnyk, possible hero of the Minnesota Wild. [THN]
The Atlanta Hockey Mafia continues to infiltrate the Jets' defensive core. The more things change, right? [Arctic Ice Hockey]
Pekka Rinne may be whole again, and is starting for the Predators tonight against their divisional-leader counterparts in the Pacific. [On the Forecheck]
Slava Voynov details just continue to get worse. Now it's coming out that he allegedly kicked his wife multiple times after punching her in the jaw. [LA Times]
Henrik Lundqvist is probably out for the Rangers' weekend game against Dallas. The throat shot he took is apparently giving him recurring headaches. Scary stuff (right, Mike Ribeiro?) [NY Post]
P.K. Subban is the Embellishment Crackdown's latest victim of a fine after his second diving offense. [NHL]
Finally, this save was pretty good if you didn't see it. Might not have counted anyway, but let's not quash the narrative: