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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Klingberg Getting Physical

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The Stars #1 defenseman has been standing up for himself a lot lately. Plus, the USA announced its Olympic rosters, and it’s time for some teams to look towards the future.

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Dallas Stars
Can we retroactively add this to the 2018 Calendar?
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

When you think of Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg, you probably think of his offensive ability first; after all, he leads all dmen in scoring (34 points in 40 games) by a decent margin (John Carlson is 2nd with 31 in 40 games, followed by a string of 29 pointers).

But what probably doesn’t cross your mind is that Klingberg seems to be getting into a lot of scuffles lately, despite largely ignoring them in years past:

"I want to defend myself for sure, I want to stick up for myself and my teammates," Klingberg said. "But I also think one of the messages we want to send as a team is we're not backing down. Hitch and Rick have instilled in us that if something happens, we're all together and we're all sticking up for each other, and I think you can see in the games that we're doing that now."

One possible explanation is Klingberg’s new role as an alternate captain. Head Coach Ken Hitchcock likes his team leaders to take the reigns, and Klingberg is definitely taking his leadership role seriously:

"I think he's really invested in the group," Hitchcock said. "He's really taking responsibility as a leader, he's trying to make a difference."

You can read more over at Mike’s place here.


Stars Stories

Happy New Year everyone! If you’re like me and were forced to spend Sunday night doing silly things like “spending quality time with friends and family” instead of watching hockey, here’s the video recap from the game:

As always, Scott Burnside has his five takeaways from the game: [NHL]

And Mark Stepneski provides the postgame quotes: [Between the Blue Lines]

Tonight the Stars continue their homestand against the Columbus Blue Jackets:

Mike Heika has injury updates for Martin Hanzal and Marc Methot, both of whom seem to be injury plagued this season. [SportsDay DFW]

Meanwhile, Sean Shapiro has decided to give up writing about hockey to pursue a career covering acting (well, not really, but...you’ll see). Here’s his latest piece on local DFW actor Devin Shore: [The Upset]

Good news everyone:


League Links

The only game on the schedule yesterday was the Winter Classic, where the New York Rangers knocked off the Buffalo Sabres in overtime. [Die By the Blade]

The biggest highlight of the game (in my humble opinion) though came during the second intermission:

(Personally speaking, I find it ridiculous that Sabres’ prospect Casey Mittelstadt won’t be on the team barring injury. Oh well; at least Jake Oettinger is most definitely a lock for one of the remaining goaltending spots.... right?)

Brian Gionta is the only player with previous Olympic experience, and will provide great leadership as he captains the American team. [NBC Sports]

Of course if they were really looking for leadership, they left off a pretty noticeable name in my unbiased opinion:

Not everyone will agree, but trading Max Pacioretty might be best for both the Montreal Canadiens and their captain. [Sportsnet]

Montreal isn’t the only Canadian team struggling; Ryan Lambert sympathizes with the Ottawa Senators fan who tossed his jersey on the ice amidst a disaster year. [Yahoo Sports]

But don’t worry Canada; misery isn’t just a Canadian thing. Sure, three of your teams are in the bottom 5 in DownGoesBrown’s Lottery Rankings, but none of them are the worst two!

Speaking of the lottery, here are just a handful of 2018 draft eligible players who are worth keeping their eyes on as the World Juniors hits the Quarter-Finals: [FanRag Sports]

But while several future draftees are making names for themselves, Rasmus Dahlin still seems like the undisputed king. [Sportsnet]

A team that surprisingly won’t be looking forward to the lottery? The Vegas Golden Knights, who saw their first hat trick in team history on Sunday:

Another really good team is the Nashville Predators, who might be getting even scarier with Ryan Ellis potentially lacing up soon for the first time all season. [NHL]


Finally...

As many others on social media have observed, it sucks that we won’t see NHL players at the Olympics, but it makes awesome moments like this possible: