When it comes to the blue line, Dallas Stars fans fixate on rookie Miro Heiskanen. But he’s not the only young defenseman turning heads, mind you: Esa Lindell is establishing himself as one of the NHL’s best:
“He’s just a really good hockey player for us,” [Jim] Montgomery said, “and probably the most underrated defenseman in the league that I’ve seen so far that no one knows about.”
“He shuts plays down, he breaks pucks out. His hockey sense offensively and defensively, goes unnoticed, except if you really study our team.”
The 24 year old defenseman is primarily known for his stout defensive play, but is also able to help drive the offense, as we saw yesterday with his two goal performance in a 6-2 win over the New York Islanders:
“Hockey sense, dependability, great stick, good gap -- all of the things of a good shutdown defenseman,” [Jason]Spezza said when asked what makes Lindell good. “You know what you’re going to get out of him every night, and he moves the puck really well. He’s an underrated puck mover, he passes the puck crisp, it’s always on the tape -- it’s just things that don’t jump off the page.
“He’s not doing flashy plays at the blueline, but he’s giving you a flat puck all of the time and gives you time to make a play.”
You can read more in Mike Heika’s piece here.
More From Yesterday
Linking all six goals individually is a bit excessive, so I’ll just show you the package deal:
The Stars opened a three-game road trip and a tough stretch of their schedule in impressive fashion today, blowing by the Islanders, 6-2. pic.twitter.com/1rNnkuDkI6— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) November 19, 2018
Here’s what Montgomery has to say about the game:
And here is the Stars’ leading goal scorer, Alexander Radulov:
Sean Shapiro breaks down the game in his 20/20: [The Athletic]
Other Stars News
Here are some roster moves down in Cedar Park:
This didn’t really apply to yesterday, but the Stars have become quite good at winning close games: [NHL]
While the Atlantic took the day off, teams from every other division were busy yesterday, including three rivals from the Central:
- The Colorado Avalanche squeaked by the Anaheim Ducks in overtime with a 4-3 victory. [Mile High Hockey]
- Meanwhile the Minnesota Wild fell 3-1 to the Chicago Blackhawks, who refuse to go quietly into that good night. [Second City Hockey]
Elsewhere in Chiago, this, umm, happened:
Man, it would really suck if your favorite team had to play in the Central, am I right? Good thing we don’t have to worry about that, haha...
Around the League
First Connor McDavid, now Connor Bedard? Does this mean Connor Carrick is due for a sudden Norris-calibre breakout?
There were several milestones hit yesterday for Stars players, with some of them being hit at the same time: