Ben Bishop has been fantastic so far this season for the Dallas Stars, single handedly winning games for Dallas with his solid play. So when Montgomery announced that he would be sitting in favor of backup Anton Khudobin against the Toronto Maple Leafs, who scored 7 goals in their game earlier this season, many fans were skeptical.
As if feeding off of the perceived criticism, Khudobin went on to have an amazing 30 save performance, letting in only a single goal — which came off of a 6-on-4 power play, mind you. Needless to say, Montgomery was happy with his goaltender tonight:
“He’s such a good teammate and he brings energy every day and he puts a smile on everyone’s face. With Bish playing so well, it’s been hard to get him in as many games as we’d like, but it’s great for his confidence. It’s great for the team morale how well he played and it shows that we have two great goalies.”
Khudobin benefited from some lucky ricochets off of the pipes, including a potential goal by Patrick Marleau on a wide-open net, but don’t write off his performance as “lucky.” He faced 15 shots in the 3rd period, 5 of them coming from the last few minutes alone:
“I tried to throw everything away and just follow the puck,” Khudobin said. “Luckily, I saw a couple first shots and I felt confidence right away. I felt the puck. I saw the puck. It was good.”
You can read more in Matthew DeFranks’ piece here.
Let’s hear more from the star of the night himself:
What were those last two minutes like for Khudobin? "Hard. Hard workout." pic.twitter.com/JC5FNTi7Va— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) November 2, 2018
Jim Montgomery really likes how the team is coming along:
.@StarsMonty was quite pleased with his team's play against the Leafs.— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) November 2, 2018
"The 2nd period was the first time I've felt like everybody is starting to relish their role and understand how everyone is wanting to play. The players are starting to gain confidence." pic.twitter.com/MzqfQXz89K
Sean Shapiro talks about Harry Potter, Toronto-natives returning home, and more in his 20/20 recap of the game: [The Athletic]
Though Connor Carrick did not play last night due to injury, he and Roman Polak both got a video tribute from the Maple Leafs:
Thank you Roman and Connor. pic.twitter.com/EP2XsNNJuk— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) November 1, 2018
Wondering why you see so many different line combinations in Stars games? Montgomery explains his philosophy of creating a lineup: [SportsDay DFW]
Busy evening last night in the NHL, with very Central team besides the Minnesota Wild playing:
- Patrick Laine got the monkey off his back with a hat trick in the Winnipeg Jets 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers in Finland. [Arctic Ice Hockey]
- In a battle between titans, the Nashville Predators beat down the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 in Pekka Rinne’s first game back from injury. [On the Forecheck]
- The St. Louis Blues won a battle between underachieving teams, beating the Vegas Golden Knights 5-3. [Knights on Ice]
- Sheldon Dries got his first NHL goal, but the Colorado Avalanche still fell 6-5 to the Calgary Flames. [NHL]
- Make that four losses in a row for the Chicago Blackhawks, who were shutout by the Edmonton Oilers 4-0. [Second City Hockey]
If the NHL truly wants entertaining playoff hockey, they should make a mid-season rules change to make the Western Conference playoffs feature the Pacific division winner and the entire Central:
Around the League
So, uhh, this happened:
BREAKING - Slava Voynov has applied for NHL reinstatement per Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly— Dennis Bernstein (@DennisTFP) November 1, 2018
"We’re in process of an intense factual investigation. I’m not in a position to give timeline. When investigation is done, Commissioner will deal with his application for reinstatement."
I’m not sure we should count empty-netters when it comes to these things, but...
Canadiens set NHL record by scoring two goals in two seconds https://t.co/JFCDK6ya4o— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) November 2, 2018
Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn are back for another ESPN player’s roundtable:
Let us welcome Ryan Kennedy as a new acolyte of the #Klingberg4Norris clan: