For the past few seasons, the Dallas Stars have been noted for a high-scoring, fast and furious style of play – and possibly for the fact that it never got them to a Stanley Cup final.
Even so, it may be an adjustment for fans to think of them as a...well, “greasy” squad. Mike Heika of The Dallas Morning News talks with head coach Ken Hitchcock quite a bit, and he tries to explain what Hitch means when he says things like this:
"You saw today how we're built," Hitchcock said. "This is what we've got, this is our team. This is the way we're built, and we can really play greasy hockey. We're going to have to. That's a hard way to play, but it's effective."
The nebulous hockey term "greasy" can mean hard-working, but it can also mean mean, combative, intense, edgy. The Stars were all of those things Saturday. Jamie Oleksiak and Greg Pateryn had fights. Antoine Roussel was hammered for 12 minutes in penalties and still found a way to tally a goal and two assists. Stephen Johns had six hits and five blocked shots.
Of course, just last season the Stars seemed to have been built primarily for speed and vision, not #grit – and Hitchcock spoke as if he embraced that team identity. Things change...or is this just an adjustment to the realities of the Central Division?
Hitchcock said the team was struggling with low energy while playing its fourth game in four cities in six days, and that moves were needed to wake them up in the day game. But, he added, the increased energy showed a gritty side of the Stars that will be needed going forward.
"We needed more participants in that [physical] role, and that would open up space for other people, and that's exactly what it did today," Hitchcock said. "We need more guys harder to play against if we expect to do any damage in the Central Division. We're not going to wow-factor you. We needed a really greasy team, and we're starting to see that now."
There’s more at Mike’s place. [SportsDayDFW]
Heika also took a dive into how the Stars can solve their depth-scoring issues in a sustainable way.
Around the league(s)
Antti Niemi, now suiting up for the Montreal Canadiens, has joined a very small club as only the fifth goalie in NHL history to play for three teams in one season.
Greg Wyshynski named Cam Atkinson, Jeff Carter, Brent Seabrook, Filip Forsberg, Zach Parise and Cam Fowler among the heroes and zeroes of 3-on-3 OT. Now find out who goes where. [ESPN]
Is the 10-game suspension the NHL’s new fashion color? Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas picked one up for slashing Winnipeg Jets center Mathieu Perreault in the back of the head last Thursday.
Philadelphia’s Radko Gudas suspended ten games for slashing Winnipeg's Mathieu Perreault. https://t.co/evgkEFCNUf— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) November 20, 2017
After that and the 10-game ban handed down to Luke Witkowski on Friday, Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson may feel lucky that he only got two games for boarding rookie Avs center Dominic Toninato.
What do you do after becoming the least-likely All-Star hero ever? With an upcoming appearance on CBS’ “S.W.A.T.” reboot, John Scott becomes an actor.
While John Scott figures out his post-hockey move, he's giving acting a shot https://t.co/OrES4e3EQ5— SI NHL (@SI_NHL) November 20, 2017
Amalie Benjamin has posted a great Long Read on Digit Murphy, the legendary Brown University coach who’s now working to create a legitimate women’s hockey infrastructure in China – and do it in time for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Jets goalie prospect Mikhail Berdin scored a goalie goal over the weekend. You have to see his celebration, but make sure you watch all the way to the end.
Greetings From Beautiful Boise
Last night for @steelheads, Philippe Desrosiers made 22 saves to improve to 6-1-2 on the season. Idaho is 8-3-4 overall, third place in the division.— 100 Degree Hockey (@100degreehockey) November 19, 2017
Chance the Rapper made news on “Saturday Night Live” over the weekend – and this sketch, in which he plays a Knicks commentator filling in at a New York Rangers game, is a big reason why. Name one among us who hasn’t said, “OK, that is a S, a K and a J all next to each other, so that’s a nope.” Enjoy.