The Dallas Stars’ 5-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets Saturday was pretty satisfying from several different perspectives. One of them was the way Brett Ritchie stood up for his teammates with some heavy physical play and a notable fight with Adam Lowry.
It demonstrated why Ritchie has earned his spot with the big team, writes Mike Heika:
“I can’t say enough about what [he] did,” [head coach Jim] Montgomery said. “On the bench, you could feel it. It had everyone talking about it, going to high-five him or congratulate him or thank him. It’s a big part of building a team. What he did, the value of it, you can’t underestimate.”
A second-round pick from 2011, Ritchie saw his point production drop from 24 (16 goals, eight assists) in 2016-17 to 14 last season (seven goals, seven assists). He was unremarkable during training camp and looked like he might be losing a regular spot in the lineup to Roope Hintz or Denis Gurianov.
But Ritchie had a nice fight in the preseason finale against Colorado and has been solid in his two regular season games. He’s adding not only the fighting element, but a big (6-foot-4, 220 pounds) power forward game that’s been very noticeable.
There’s more at Mike’s place. [Dallas Stars]
Elsewhere in Heika, he puts his finger on the pulse of the average online Stars fan.
The Stars have outscored their opponents 8-1 to start the season. Bishop has saved 62 of 63 shots. Still, Monty knows to keep things in perspective as we're two games into an 82 game season. https://t.co/yOuXjISWR5— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) October 7, 2018
Josh Bogorad provided a nice summary of opening weekend.
Through two games, the @DallasStars are 2-0.— Josh Bogorad (@JoshBogorad) October 7, 2018
They have outscored the opposition 8-1.
The top line has 6 goals and 13 points.
Ben Bishop has stopped 62 of 63 shots faced.
The power play is 3-for-7
The penalty kill is 5-for-5
Not a bad start, folks. Not bad at all.
Don’t look now, but hockey minds everywhere are noticing.
I'm happy to inform you that the Dallas Stars are fun to watch again— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) October 6, 2018
And the NHL has some fun facts about Jamie Benn’s big Saturday night milestone:
Fewest games required to record 600th point, @DallasStars franchise history:— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) October 7, 2018
Dino Ciccarelli (542)
Neal Broten (580)
Mike Modano (586)
Brian Bellows (631)@jamiebenn14 (669)#NHLStats pic.twitter.com/XJSKX8cZzW
Around the League(s)
Over the weekend, in #Death:
- Viktor Arvidsson scored twice as the Nashville Predators took down the New York Islanders, 4-3. [On The Forecheck]
- The Chicago Blackhawks beat the St. Louis Blues 5-4 in overtime behind Jonathan Toews’ fifth career hat trick. [NHL]
- John Tavares scored three times as the Hawks lost in OT to the Toronto Maple Leafs, 7-6. [Second City Hockey]
- The Vegas Golden Knights wore down Devan Dubnyk and the Minnesota Wild in a 2-1 shootout. [Hockey Wilderness]
- Who else has a perfect season so far? The Colorado Avalanche, who beat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 at home. [Mile High Hockey]
Andrei Svechnikov scored his first NHL goal to break a third-period tie as the Hurricanes defeated the Rangers 8-5. https://t.co/vQLWwTIAF8— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) October 7, 2018
The Battle of California becomes the battle of the IR lists: Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick goes down with an injury sustained in practice...
...while San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton gets a “precautionary” benching due to swelling in his knee.
More bad news from the opposite coast: The Florida Panthers have put goalie Roberto Luongo on IR, too:
If you’re keeping an eye on the NCAA, THN’s Ryan Kennedy has you covered. Find out where he ranks Stars prospects Riley Tufte and Jake Oettinger.
The NCAA season begins soon, so our prospect expert is counting down all the men's players with bright futures. If you like mobile defensemen, this is your year, writes @THNRyanKennedyhttps://t.co/RV1saCTOOP pic.twitter.com/xInurDVFFD— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) October 7, 2018
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
The Texas Stars won one and lost one, both in overtime, during their own opening weekend at home.
ICYMI: Texas Stars vs Milwaukee Admirals to close Opening Weekend:— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) October 7, 2018
Former T-Stars stalwart Greg Rallo, now a Milwaukee Admirals assistant coach, talked about how it felt to come back to H-E-B Center.
MIL asst coach Greg Rallo: “For me, today was pretty special to start my coaching career in a place that was home for so long."— 100 Degree Hockey (@100degreehockey) October 7, 2018
If you’re in Austin Metro, or can get there, you still have time to plan your month around this.
Remember NHL ’94? Even if you weren’t born yet, you probably do. The Hockey News gives you the inside story of how a classic title came together. Enjoy.