The Dallas Stars dug a hole early and couldn’t dig their way back out during their St. Patrick’s Day loss to the red-hot Calgary Flames. The absence of captain Jamie Benn probably didn’t help in that regard, but he’s expected to return on Monday.
Ruff said there is a good chance Benn will play Monday at home against San Jose. As for having his captain fight a player who is 6-7, 265, Ruff said he believes Benn knows how to respond on the ice.
"There's lots of ways to get hurt. [Fighting] is still part of the game, it's still part of the way you can create emotion in the game," Ruff said. "I think after the game in Edmonton, he was out to create emotion for us."
Elsewhere in Heika, he examines how the Stars and Flames found themselves in the same sorry situation in January, and how their paths diverged. [SportsDayDFW]
...[W]ith both teams having every opportunity to make a statement, the Flames went on a sizzling hot run and the Stars collapsed into a malaise that has the 2016-17 season possibly one of the worst since the team moved to Dallas in 1993.
Where #fancystats leave off, the Los Angeles Kings begin: Their Corsi numbers are incredible, but they’re in danger of missing the playoffs because they can do everything with the puck except score.
The Kings have elite possession numbers but they have one glaring problem -- they can't put the puck in the net: https://t.co/eeeP69Eb4c— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) March 18, 2017
Last night: Jaromir Jagr racked up two assists and, with 269, now has sole possession of the most points after age 40 as the Florida Panthers defeated the New York Rangers 4-3 in the shootout. [Litter Box Cats]
The Traveling Jagrs are pleased.
Speaking of which, last night DBD’s own Derek Neumeier made an IMPORTANT DISCOVERY YOU GUYS. (Get on with ya bad self, Jiri Hudler.)
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos is back at practice, but his ability to play is in question, as are the Bolts’ playoff hopes.
Sounds like Steven Stamkos may miss the rest of the regular season, putting Tampa Bay’s playoff hopes in peril: https://t.co/SYwnT1vp1D— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) March 18, 2017
Montreal Canadiens fans have fallen in love with formerly underappreciated Star Jordie Benn – but should the Habs re-sign him? Nick Guido examines the case.
The Habs are battling the Ottawa Senators for the Atlantic Division lead during a home-and-away series this weekend.
The U.S. women’s national hockey team is Canada’s only legitimate rival on the world stage – but star players are boycotting the World Championships as part of a fight for equitable funding.
Lindsay Gibbs offers some additional context.
Meanwhile, USA Hockey is reportedly seeking an alternate team.
Goon 2 is relevant to your interests in several ways, not the least of which is a reported cameo by Tyler Seguin as a potty-mouthed minor-leaguer. The movie opened in Canada yesterday, and Bruce Arthur talked to first-time director Jay Baruchel about loving the enforcer.
The Texas Stars came to life with help from a 24-save performance from Justin Peters and a first professional goal in his pro debut for Gavin Bayreuther, shutting out the Cleveland Monsters 4-0.
The T-Stars’ Military Appreciation Weekend takes place Friday-Saturday, March 24-25, with a camo hat giveaway on Saturday.
Finally: The fans of Devin Shore showed up dressed for the occasion on St. Patrick’s Day in Calgary. Stars fans, take note, and enjoy.