Mike Heika once again turns to '80s cinema to explain what's going on with the Dallas Stars right now, and you know it's a scolding when he invokes Principal Rooney from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."
...[I]n a perfect world, the Stars would be hacking the school computer and changing the NHL stats, just like Ferris Bueller did back in the day. But that's not possible with today's technology and the league's new bullet-proof website.
No, they have to face the fact they lead the league in most times allowing six or more goals in a game...
We can explain away the breakdowns, he writes, or point to the standings and say "scoreboard," but the Stars' own rising expectations leave these rhetorical devices sounding pretty hollow.
The Stars are 38-18-6 for 82 points and sit first in the Western Conference. They have the second best record in the NHL right now. How can we be so critical? How can we be so concerned?
Well, because they have eight regulation wins in their past 27 games, because they have been playing .500 hockey by NHL standards for two months...and.500 hockey by NHL standards doesn't get you into the playoffs.
Ferris Bueller got away with it, right? Why can't the Stars?
Oh, that's right, because this isn't a goofy teen comedy from the '80s.
There's much, much more in Heika's latest feature. [SportsDayDFW]
Mike Heika has done his own scouting report and calls Jason Spezza vs. Henrik Lundqvist as the key matchup. [SportsDayDFW[
Tonight's Central Division action looks like this:
- St. Louis Blues at Nashville Predators, 2 p.m. Central time
- Winnipeg Jets at Pittsburgh Penguins, 2 p.m. Central time
- Colorado Avalanche vs. Detroit Red Wings in a Stadium Series game, 7 p.m. Central time on NBC
Mark Spector draws up a prospective World Cup of Hockey roster for the Czech team and, while he's left Ales Hemsky off his own chart, he still points to Hemmer as a player who could "make things interesting." [Sportsnet]
Spector also draws up a possible roster for Team USA, and Joe Pavelski, Brandon Saad, Johnny Gaudreau, Dylan Larkin and Jack Eichel are mixing in with the likes of Patrick Kane, Ryan Kesler, Ryan Suter, Dustin Byfuglien and Jonathan Quick. [Sportsnet]
Meanwhile, via Matt Larkin, any projected Team Canada roster that has Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin on the third and fourth lines is probably pretty loaded, or maybe just wacky. [The Hockey News]
Sportsnet reported from Dallas on the countdown to the announcements, and Tyler Seguin and John Klingberg were part of this news segment on Team Europe.
The Stars play an alumni game for charity today, and Heika thinks Jere Lehtinen, Craig Ludwig and Ed Belfour could turn it into a display of how the present-day squad needs to go. [SportsDayDFW]
As the trade deadline looms ever closer, Dominik Luszcyzszyn declares Loui Eriksson "the best player available...if he's available." You may be surprised at the other former Star who makes his list of big names, best values and potential powder kegs. [The Hockey News]
Allan Muir plays trade-deadline Dolly Levi for several NHL teams and proposes Vancouver Canucks D-man Dan Hamhuis to Dallas in exchange for Jyrki Jokipakka and a 2016 second-rounder. [Sports Illustrated]
This is why we don't talk seriously about trading Valeri Nichushkin: Somebody always thinks they can eBay you out of him. [Silver Seven Sens]
Meanwhile, the New York Islanders are still trying to honor the request from defender Travis Hamonic to trade him somewhere close to his Western Canada home – but it's more likely to happen around NHL Draft Day than before the deadline.
Chicago Sun-Times beat writer Mark Lazerus offered a hot sports take last night:
Stan Bowman's taking a risk because he wants to win another championship. As a fan, isn't that what you want? A guy who goes for it?— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) February 27, 2016
Given the current upheaval with the Toronto Maple Leafs, it might be easy to forget that former Star Stephane Robidas hasn't played a single game with the Leafs since the preseason. Last week, Roby finally spoke out to RDS on the knee injury that has left his career in limbo. Here's an English translation. [Maple Leafs Hot Stove]
Finally: Philadelphia Flyers rookie starburst Shayne Gostisbehere is making a name for himself, and that name is Ghost Bear. Take a look at the autograph he created for a fan who asked him to draw a ghost bear, because you will love it.