While a lot of focus has been placed on the Dallas Stars’ 2014 first round pick, their top choice from just a year earlier, Valeri Nichushkin, has also split the fanbase pretty heavily. The forward has struggled to put up points so far this season after returning from the KHL, which has led to less ice time in key situations such as in last Saturday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche:
“I thought he was having a fine game, but we’re down 1-0, and I wanted to play some forwards that I thought were going more,” Stars coach Jim Montgomery said earlier this week. “The realism is he doesn’t have a goal. So we’re down 1-0, I was going to play the guys that I thought might be able to get us goals.”
Sean Shapiro broke down some film of Nichushkin to try and give fans a better idea of how the forward has been faring thus far. And while he’s not lighting up the scoresheet, there are many smaller things the young Russian is doing well:
Nichushkin’s positioning has been quite good, particularly when playing defense. In the Stars’ defensive scheme, the wingers are typically responsible for the opposing point men. Nichushkin does a good job closing down space and in this situation blocks a shot against Edmonton.
You can read more on Nichushkin behind the paywall: [The Athletic]
Here’s the post-game presser from Jim Montgomery:
And here’s Tyler Seguin, who scored the game-winner:
Speaking of game-winners, someone was not a happy camper last night:
David Rittich doesn't appear happy after Tyler Seguin's OT winner allowed to stand pic.twitter.com/gCkzvGtkBb— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) November 29, 2018
If you aren’t a Landon Bow fan yet, here’s something to get you on board:
Landon Bow has always tried to put something sentimental on the back of his mask. This season he's honoring the victims of the Humboldt bus crash. And meeting two of the survivors this week meant a bit more https://t.co/bxtJeLmTTS— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) November 28, 2018
Sometimes, we focus solely on the head coach’s achievements and not those of the rest of the coaching staff. Congrats to Brad Jellis!
Congratulations to our Strength and Rehabilitation Coach, Brad Jellis, who is working his 1,000th career professional game tonight! pic.twitter.com/3zv2zWHFSZ— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) November 29, 2018
It wasn’t too busy last night in the NHL, but there was still a decent amount of Central Division action:
- The St. Louis Blues lost to the Detroit Red Wings 4-3, tacking on another loss to their disappointing season. [Winging it in Motown]
- The Colorado Avalanche blew a 3-0 lead to the Pittsburgh Penguins when Sidney Crosby scored a natural hat trick, but then scored three more to win 6-3.
Hey look, the Stars passed up the Winnipeg Jets in the standings
and it only took them three games in hand to do it!
I’m not saying I would target Ilya Kovalchuk in a trade, but...
Ilya Kovalchuk was brought in to Los Angeles to provide top-six scoring, and he was doing just that before the Kings' coaching change. Now, he's stuck playing on the fourth line, and that's a waste of his talent, writes @THNJaredClintonhttps://t.co/RUiT3bpDzR pic.twitter.com/lZrhCtkbcE— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) November 28, 2018
Brad Marchand is perhaps the best “pest” in the league. Will the Tkachuk brothers one day reach a similar status? [NBC Sports]
Jack Hughes (hopefully) won’t be in victory green — at least not anytime soon — but this quick video is still worth your time:
Have you ever wondered “what if the NHL had the shootout before the game even started? Of course not, but that hasn’t stopped the Federal Hockey League: [The Hockey News]
I was expecting the Stars’ entry to be depressing. It was, but at least they’re not alone:
If you could go back in time and convince your favorite team to change three picks at any single draft, which year would you choose? I went back and found a suggestion for every team. Warning: This might get painful.https://t.co/laAUlwVKHn pic.twitter.com/pmc1n6HCel— Down Goes Brown (@DownGoesBrown) November 28, 2018
I love everything about this: