Dallas Stars fans knew it would be a long, difficult four weeks without John Klingberg in the lineup. But even the professionals may have underestimated how important he is to the team, writes Sean Shapiro.
The Ghost of Gothenburg has driven the power play like no other, Shapiro writes, and confirms it with HockeyViz work from Micah Blake McCurdy:
For all the talent on the Stars’ power play, Klingberg was the true quarterback who made everything work from the top and the Stars were 10-for-42 on the man advantage before an ill-placed shot from Evander Kane. Since his injury, the Stars have scored just three goals on 29 power play opportunities and in Klingberg’s absence the Stars have been trying everything — even throwing three defenders on the power play at one point — to find a solution.
On a happier note, he confirms that Miro Heiskanen is the NHL’s best rookie defenseman, and it’s not that close:
Heiskanen is averaging 22 minutes, 57 seconds per game, which is a full two minutes higher than the second-place rookie, Henri Jokiharju of the Chicago Blackhawks (20:54).
Since time on ice became an official stat, the only teenagers to average more than 23 minutes per game in the NHL have been Drew Doughty (23:50 per game in 2008-09) and Tyler Myers (23:44 in 2009-10).
And Gavin Bayreuther has turned out to be a great story – including for Rich Peverley, who was a key player in his acquisition:
Since he got healthy and since he was recalled, Bayreuther has been one of the Stars’ best defensemen in the past eight games. He’s averaging 20 minutes, 20 seconds per game, which is third in the league behind Heiskanen and Jokiharju when it comes to rookies. He has four points, including a two-point night in Calgary on Wednesday, and, by all accounts, he’s one of the best options on defense even when (or if) the Stars get healthy.
Sean has much more. [The Athletic DFW]
The Stars have more about their underdog blueline.
Of the six defensemen in the lineup right now, only Esa Lindell played for Dallas last season. The Stars defense consists of a group of AHL call-ups and they are making a lot of people happy right now. https://t.co/GmA27X3Y2X— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) November 29, 2018
Ben Bishop is on the way back, just in time for Bobblehead Night.
Monty expects Ben Bishop to be a player on Saturday and when we return home on Monday, we're giving away Big Ben bobbleheads!— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) November 29, 2018
Guarantee yourself a bobblehead by purchasing a ticket through this specific link.
TICKETS → https://t.co/ho2CRItjHf pic.twitter.com/m4WxmdZ32T
Around the League(s)
Licence To #Kill
- The Minnesota Wild continue to struggle, losing 4-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets in Ohio. [Hockey Wilderness]
- The Arizona Wild shocked the Nashville Predators 3-0 – and none of them more than goalie Adin Hill, who earned the shutout on his first start of the season. [On The Forecheck]
- Nikolaj Ehlers earned a hat trick as the Winnipeg Jets beat the Chicago Blackhawks 6-5. [Second City Hockey]
It was an eventful evening for the Jets: Patrik Laine got his 100th NHL goal two minutes into the first period.
And it looks as if the team will have to cope without Dustin Byfuglien for a while.
Mike Babcock is still confident that William Nylander will sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Because fans love contract talk, Hockey Night in Canada presents nine of the worst ever in this short video.
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
The Texas Stars will be out and about in the community on Saturday.
Come out to the Georgetown Christmas Stroll this Saturday and visit our #txstars booth! We will be there from 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Don't miss out on all the holiday goods!— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) November 29, 2018
Click below for more information! https://t.co/axdqqZLyA2
The premature celly, encapsulated. Enjoy.