One of those incidentally awful things about the Dallas Stars’ current spiral – the kind that bugs you the most when you allow yourself to dwell on it – is that Jamie Benn may be playing his best hockey of the season right now.
Fans have agonized at length over the Captain’s slow start to 2016-17, attributed to the lingering effects of his off-season core-muscle surgery. And now that he’s finally playing like, well, himself...
That's the Benn everyone was missing at the beginning of the season. That's the Benn who has been a fixture in the chase for the Art Ross Trophy. That's the Benn that led the Stars to the playoffs last season. Yet, even that Benn doesn't seem to be enough for Dallas right now.
Despite having its best player be the best player on the ice for much of the past two weeks, Dallas still went 1-6-0 in a stretch that probably killed any playoff hope. In a lot of ways, the Stars may have wasted a beast-mode performance from Benn.
"That's a tough record to have to look at this this time of year, considering the situation we're in," [Patrick] Sharp said. "You look at every game and it's a different answer for every game, but he's consistently been there for us. It's up to us to follow his lead."
There’s always more at Mike’s place. [SportsDayDFW]
In his Monday chat, Heika discussed issues ranging from Lindy Ruff’s job to whom the Stars will protect in the expansion draft (and who may get traded before it happens).
He also posited that the team has missed no player all season quite as much as they do Mattias Janmark. [SportsDayDFW]
The Minnesota Wild are the Stars’ next road opponent. The game begins tonight at 7 p.m. Central time on FS-SW.
If you’re thinking about going to the official watch party at the Hard Rock Cafe in Victory Park, maybe this will help you decide.
John Klingberg and Jason Spezza are among the Stars who sat out practice yesterday.
Marty Turco talked about the Stars’ road performance and the current state of their goalie-platoon experiment with ESPN’s Jean-Jacques Taylor and Will Chambers on “J Dub City” on KESN-FM 103.3. [SportsDayDFW]
That's point No. 19 for Jaromir Jagr! pic.twitter.com/DuaYQ17EPF— SI NHL (@SI_NHL) February 16, 2017
These days, it’s just one milestone after another.
Jaromir Jagr is fifth player (third skater) to play in an NHL game after turning 45 (Gordie Howe, Chris Chelios, Moe Roberts, Johnny Bower). pic.twitter.com/h6lEuq6coL— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 16, 2017
Several fellow NHL’ers, including former Stars teammate Trevor Daley, shared memories of No. 68 to celebrate his birthday. [ESPN]
Gustav Nyquist received a six-game suspension yesterday for spearing Jared Spurgeon in the face during the Red Wings-Wild game on Sunday.
Detroit’s Gustav Nyquist suspended six games for high-sticking Minnesota’s Jared Spurgeon. https://t.co/L7m2cxliA6— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) February 15, 2017
People are saying that isn’t enough – including former NHL enforcer Brian McGrattan. [Nottingham Post]
The Players’ Tribune comes up big yet again: Corey Hirsch writes about the struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder that marked his early playing career and nearly ended his life, and it’s a must-read.
The Texas Stars celebrate Pink in the Rink 2017 this Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17-18. Specially priced tickets and giveaways are available for the annual breast cancer-awareness event.
Finally: London Knights blueliner Brandon Crawley stole the stick of Erie Otters forward Dylan Strome during last night’s game. Strome got revenge by picking up Crawley’s lost stick and scoring with it. Enjoy.