When Dallas Stars fans start to fret about how the team develops young defensemen, perhaps the parable of Stephen Johns can help to assuage their worries.
The 25-year-old blueliner endured a difficult 2016-17 campaign, in which his on-ice production suffered and healthy scratches eroded his confidence. But Johns has adjusted his attitude to take those obstacles in stride, writes Mike Heika of The Dallas Morning News:
“My mindset coming into this year was if you don’t play, work harder,” Johns said. “We’re all part of the team and all part of the process, and we all have to chip in whenever possible. I think I took the ‘healthies’ too personal last year, and this year I don’t care what happens to me, just so long as we win. I think that’s the vibe we have in the locker room, and everyone is buying in.”
The Stars’ new, more conservative defensive system clearly works better for Johns, but he also credits assistant coach Rick Wilson with creating a good environment:
“We’re allowed to make mistakes. When you allow mistakes to happen, less mistakes happen,” Johns said. “You don’t worry about making mistakes, and when you make a mistake, you’re not worried about going to the bench and having [a coach] screaming and hollering at you. He’s just letting you know what you need to do better. When you’re allowed to make mistakes, you have a different feeling, where you just have that feeling you can make plays.”
There’s more at Mike’s place. [SportsDayDFW]
The Stars take on the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight at 7:30 p.m. Central time, and Mark Stepneski says not to expect any lineup changes (read: Julius Honka out, Dillon Heatherington in).
Is “learning via healthy scratch” really the best plan for Honka? Someone had to ask, and Heika answered in his latest chat. [SportsDayDFW]
Dan Rosen takes a swing at a John Klingberg think piece in his latest NHL.com mailbag (TL;DR Klinger “is not a regular on the PK” and doesn’t even crack Rosen’s top five).
On the Golden Knights' depth, John Klingberg's Norris Trophy candidacy, the Avalanche, the Devils, comparisons, the Metro and my Super 16: https://t.co/VGzSiY86YG— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) January 24, 2018
HockeyViz.com’s Micah Blake McCurdy has a different take.
Klingberg is my Norris favourite - leads defenders in scoring and has lethal shot impacts with much less generous zone deployment than most (all?) other serious candidates. pic.twitter.com/75Yz58cAsH— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) January 24, 2018
Ben Bishop dropped in on students in the Stars’ Future Goals STEM Program during a visit to Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco.
Speaking of #BishPlease, he earned a “Trending Up” and a top 10 placement in David Satriano’s latest fantasy goalie rankings. [NHL]
Around the League(s)
But there’s much more action in the Central Division tonight:
- Nashville Predators at New Jersey Devils, 6 p.m. CT
- Minnesota Wild at Pittsburgh Penguins, 6 p.m. CT
- Blackhawks at Detroit Red Wings, 6:30 p.m. CT
- Colorado Avalanche at St. Louis Blues, 7 p.m. CT
- Winnipeg Jets at Anaheim Ducks, 9 p.m. CT (tonight’s NHL.tv free game)
Terrible news for the San Jose Sharks: An MCL injury could keep Joe Thornton sidelined for the rest of the regular season, and their playoff position hangs in the balance.
Jared Clinton names five teams that are about to get better as players return from injury – and three of them are in the #MDK. [The Hockey News]
Also at THN: As it turns out, Anze Kopitar can’t do everything, and he needs some help if the Los Angeles Kings want to make the playoffs.
New York Rangers prospect Lias Andersson, who made headlines when he tossed his silver medal into the bleachers at the 2018 World Juniors, got his first career AHL goal, point and GWG during his debut last night with the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Lias Andersson tallied his first career AHL assist/point on the game-winning goal in overtime while making his AHL and North American pro hockey debut tonight.— NYR Stats & Info (@NYRStatsInfo) January 25, 2018
And Rory Boylen chooses five undersung NHL rookies who have earned more love.
Elsewhere, the Boston Bruins’ Brad Marchand has earned his sixth NHL suspension. He’ll sit for five games after reportedly concussing Devils forward Marcus Johansson in this elbowing incident on Tuesday. [CBC Sports]
Here's the better angle of the Marchand elbow to Johansson. Here it looks intentional, because his elbow is down then jumps. But the other view makes it look somewhat incidental. This hit took MJ out of the game after he was down for a minute. pic.twitter.com/SpSUPZ7O4I— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) January 24, 2018
In other news, P.K. Subban is always ready to talk about Montréal Children’s Hospital, and here he is discussing it with Trevor Noah on “The Daily Show.”
P.K. Subban on The Daily Show explaining why he donated $10 million to Montreal Children's Hospital. Class act. pic.twitter.com/Uonqt9XgDY— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) January 25, 2018
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
Center Brian Flynn scored twice and got the GWG.
STARS POSTGAME: Brian Flynn discusses his two goal night, including the game winner, in the Stars' 3-2 overtime win over San Jose. pic.twitter.com/JzLwaLdMR2— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) January 24, 2018
Need something nice to tide you over ’til game time? Here’s a video of Alexander Radulov skating with his son at Wednesday practice. Enjoy.