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.
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:
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
Travis Morin should have been on Team USA.— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) January 1, 2018
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!
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:
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: