As we all know by now, 2016 saved one last kick to the head for Dallas Stars fans, and it took the form of a 3-1 loss to the Florida Panthers in the traditional NYE game.
Jaromir Jagr saluted the Stars’ video tribute to him by earning first Star of the Game at his former team’s expense, mostly during Our Gang’s foot-draggingly slow first period:
Dallas had a horrible first period, rallied late, but still lost a 3-1 game to the Florida Panthers. It was only the Stars’ second regulation loss in the past eight games, but it was a wasted opportunity and a frustrating night for all in attendance at the traditional New Years’ Eve game.
“The slow start killed us, and it was obviously collective from the forwards to the defensemen to the goaltender,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “We lost almost every faceoff, chased the puck around. We created our own problems that first 20 minutes, and it was too tough to recover from.”
The cherry on the cake was an injury Jamie Benn incurred just before assisting Patrick Eaves on the Stars’ only goal of the game:
Even worse, Jamie Benn took an awkward fall into the boards late in the second period and then went to the front of the net to help Patrick Eaves score a goal. Benn was hobbled, but decided to stay in the game.
“He got a little dinged up. We’ll have to see where he’s at the next couple of days,” Ruff said. “He wanted to finish the game. I don’t know if that was the smartest decision or not. Hopefully we didn’t create a bigger problem.”
Read more at Mike’s place. [SportsDayDFW]
As of this writing, here’s all we have on The Captain’s injury:
Jamie Benn got dinged up on the Eaves goal, but wanted to play rest of the game. Team will monitor next couple of days.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) January 1, 2017
You may still have time to join Heika for his 2 p.m. (CT) Monday chat. Ask your questions here. [SportsDayDFW]
Is the Stars’ goalie-platoon system working? Mike takes a closer look. [SportsDayDFW]
So what’s been going on in the Central since last we met? Well, they all took New Year’s Day off, for starters, but here’s what happened on NYE:
- There can be only one...and the Columbus Blue Jackets came away with their double-digit win streak intact as they defeated the Minnesota Wild 4-2 in what The Cannon dubbed #Unsustainabowl. [Hockey Wilderness]
- Below-average goaltending sank the Winnipeg Jets as the New York Islanders went on a scoring streak and won 6-2. [Lighthouse Hockey]
- The increasingly demoralized Colorado Avalanche lost their 10th consecutive home game, this one 6-2 to the New York Rangers. [Denver Post]
Elsewhere in the #MDK: P.K. Subban, who has not played a game for the Nashville Predators since December 15, has been placed on IR and will be reevaluated in two to three weeks. One rumor is that Subban has suffered a herniated disc, which the Preds have not confirmed or denied. [The Hockey News]
Meanwhile, the next day: Not even overtime, a seven-point third period and a too-much-sunshine delay could stop Auston Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs as they beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-4 in the Centennial Classic.
Steve Ott and Matt Martin went to the sin bin for brawling and continued their battle via hand gestures. (The only Otter is the one who exists in your imagination.)
Meanwhile, the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks will play the 2017 Winter Classic sometime today, probably, maybe. Rain and unseasonably high temperatures have thrown the noon puck drop into question; the NHL will announce the start time at 7 a.m. [KMOV]
Here’s a retrospective of Winter Classic jerseys through the years (all, uh, 10 of them). [Sports Illustrated]
New Jersey Devils defender John Moore, who was stretchered off the ice during his team’s 6-2 loss to the Washington Capitals on Saturday, is out of the hospital but on the IR list with a concussion. [Sportsnet]
Moore’s teammates stayed nearby and helped load him onto the stretcher after his injury.
Arizona Coyotes rookie and 2014 first-rounder Anthony DeAngelo has earned a three-game suspension for abuse of an official, after shoving linesman Daniel Brisebois during a post-fight intervention. [Puck Daddy]
In other news, water is wet:
Surely you’ve read Derek’s 2017 World Juniors recap, so you already know Stars first-round draftee Denis Gurianov scored the game-winner for Team Russia in Saturday’s match against Slovakia. Here’s the official Stars wrap-up on all the team’s prospects (minus the reignited controversy over the Guryanov spelling).
Here’s a quick look at Gury’s game-winner:
He talked to Andrew Podnieks of the WJC’s official site about his adjustment to life in Texas and his NHL aspirations.
And Stephen Meserve found this photo of his Texas Stars coach, Derek Laxdal, from his Team Canada days.
In honor of tonight's game between CAN and Denis Gurianov's RUS at WJC2017, here's Derek Laxdal's team photo for the '86 Canadian team. pic.twitter.com/Rzim18U16e— 100 Degree Hockey (@100degreehockey) December 27, 2016
Speaking of World Juniors past, there are some very familiar names on the IIHF’s list of the 10 greatest goalie performances in tournament history. [WorldJunior2017]
And in World Juniors future, the 2018 edition in Buffalo will feature the tournament’s first outdoor game.
Since we were talking about familiar names, the NHL has released the first 33 on its list of the 100 greatest players in its history. The rest will be revealed during All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles. [NHL]
They’ve also done one of those 100-in-100 videos that you might enjoy.
Finally: Jason Spezza and his war face are the Bud Light Frozen Moment of the Week. Enjoy.