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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Missing John Klingberg, And Other Notes On Defense

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The Stars’ franchise D is the key to the power play, writes Sean Shapiro. Plus, Ben Bishop is ready, Patrik Laine hits 100, and more.

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Dallas Stars Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

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]


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