At the turn of the calendar year, I detailed a list of storylines I wanted to see die in 2017. What was #1? “Jordie Benn is only on the roster because of his brother Jamie.” The trade deadline move that sent Jordie Benn to the Montreal Canadiens ended that narrative, so check that one off the list.
Apparently Jordie Benn was kind of ready for that one to end, too.
“A lot of people say the only reason that I made it was because of him. I think I have done enough hard work in my life to prove to people that I am an NHL hockey player. I am living a dream and I am here. You can’t say that getting traded to the Montreal Canadiens, that Jamie got me here. It’s just good to play in the NHL.” (sticktap to Mark Stepneski for the quote)
Now the two brothers will face off against one another for the first time in their professional careers as the Dallas Stars travel to Montreal tonight.
Jordie Benn, aka the Bearded Benn, has enjoyed a fair amount of success with the Canadiens. They’re currently 6-3-1 in their last 10 games and coming off of a 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators.
Montreal has a three point cushion over the second place team in their division (Ottawa). They’ve punched their ticket to the playoffs already, so for them the motivation is keeping that top seed and ensuring some home ice advantage in the first round. Preferably with no significant injuries to key personnel, no doubt.
Jamie Benn’s squad is on the other end of the spectrum. With certain teams winning last night the Stars were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs on their idle night. It wasn’t completely unexpected, but leaves Dallas with not much to play for in their last seven games.
Except for maybe draft positioning. On the back of Kari Lehtonen’s recent hot streak, a streak that earned him 2nd Star of the Week honors in the NHL last week, the Stars are actually now out of a top five draft pick in terms of standings. Their play down the stretch will only impact where they could potentially draft this summer.
Lost in the “Benn vs Benn” storyline is the return of Greg Pateryn to Montreal, the team that traded him to Dallas in the deal that netted Jordie Benn’s change of jersey to the rouge et bleu.
There’s plenty of intrigue in the matchup. We’ll have to see what the team decides to roll out on defense as they continue evaluating the young blueliners they have as they head into the offseason. Considering the recent success of the defense, though, you have to wonder if the pairings of John Klingberg-Esa Lindell, Jamie Oleksiak-Greg Pateryn, Dan Hamhuis-Stephen Johns might carry over from Sunday’s win in New Jersey.
Bonus content for today, because we like our amusement where we can find it:
In case you missed this floating around Twitter yesterday, the Canadiens did a little Q&A with Jordie Benn and all things brother Benn.
Don’t forget it’s an early puck drop today, as the team is on the east coast. Tune into FSSW at 6:30 PM to see Cornelius Benn once more.