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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Shorthanded Defense Prepares To Prove Its Mettle

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With Klingberg down for at least four weeks, can the team’s youngest step up? Plus, the night in #Murder, Hockey Hall of Fame weekend, Four Nations Cup action, and more.

NHL: Anaheim Ducks at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Stars, their fans, and fantasy-league GMs everywhere got the grim news yesterday that John Klingberg will be out at least four weeks after undergoing hand surgery. But as tough as Klinger’s loss will be, there are reasons to believe the Victory Green gang can survive, and perhaps even thrive, until their No. 1 defender returns.

Rick Bowness projects so much hard-earned confidence in the Stars’ blueline that you feel you must believe him. Even as the team struggled to find its balance early in the season, the assistant coach says “one of the good things about all of this unrest is that the defensemen are ready to fill any role,” writes Mike Heika:

Rookie Miro Heiskanen is left-handed, but doesn’t mind playing the right side. Julius Honka is right-handed, but can play the left side. The current group of six defensemen consists of four lefties and two righties, but Bowness said he doesn’t even look at handedness right now when planning strategy.

“You can delegate ice based on performance or what’s working, and you’re not restricted to trying to get a right-handed player on his right side or a left-handed player on his left side,” said Bowness. “With these injuries, you can’t be restricted, you have to have everybody play with everybody.”

Bowness tells Heika that the big leaps forward made by the Stars’ two youngest blueliners are a strong reason for optimism:

“Julius is much more under control than he was, and Miro … I just stay out of his way,” Bowness joked about the strong play of the Heiskanen. “Honestly, I do a lot of coaching with Miro on the bench in the game as things are happening, and with Julius, I do a lot more coaching with video.”

Mike has more. [Dallas Stars]


Stars Stories

Jim Montgomery and Esa Lindell talked to the media about yesterday’s Klinger news.

And Heiskanen runs the Stars’ No. 1 power-play unit until further notice.

The Hondell pair was in action during practice yesterday, as Esa Lindell prepares to play without John Klingberg for the next few weeks.

Joel Hanley is up from Cedar Park to reinforce.

The Stars will honor Jason Spezza’s 1,000th game this afternoon at home as they face the Nashville Predators.

Around the League(s)

Last Night In #Death

What does the fantasy wire say about Klinger’s injury?

The Pittsburgh Penguins are struggling, and Jim Rutherford thinks it’s because “[some] guys show up at games and think that Sid, Geno, Phil and Kris are going to get the job done.”

Willie O’Ree is finally being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame this weekend.

Time to ring in the new class.

Meanwhile, Dom Luszczyszyn looks ahead to predict future first-balloters.

Team Canada got the win over Finland and now faces its bête noire, reigning champions Team USA, in the Four Nations Cup final.

Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park

It’s Military Appreciation Night in H-E-B Center as the Texas Stars take on their I-35 rivals, the San Antonio Rampage.

Finally

I did not know about this, and now I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Enjoy.