After a rough 2017-18 campaign, Jason Spezza has bounced back rather nicely under new head coach Jim Montgomery. The alternate captain has not only helped the Dallas Stars on the scoreboard, but has continued to make a strong impact in the locker room:
According to Stars coach Jim Montgomery, Spezza is bringing “leadership and buy-in” to the Stars mix. Montgomery... also praised Spezza’s “creativity with the puck and his ability to make plays. He’s still our best player on two-on-ones. He just doesn’t get as many as he used to.”
The Stars currently sit out of a playoff spot, but some of their struggles can be attributed to a combination of injuries and playing a large amount of road games. Spezza finds it especially difficult as a father of four to be spending so much time away from home in the past month or so:
“They’re just pups,” Spezza said, noting also: “We’re a month-and-a-half into what’s probably the worst travel I’ve had in my career. We’ve been on the road pretty much all the time the last six weeks – and it wears on my family. It’s not been the easiest time, but we have a great Christmas and January coming up. Luckily, my wife and I have been together a long time and she understands the ups and downs of the season.
You can read more from Erik Duhatschek behind the paywall: [The Athletic]
The Stars will cap off their four-game road trip tonight against the Colorado Avalanche, and the coaching staff will have quite the challenge ahead of them in picking the lineup:
The Texas Stars played against the Milwaukee Admirals, but ultimately fell 3-2 in overtime:
- Good news — the Colorado Avalanche might be a bit tired tonight after falling to the St. Louis Blues 4-3 in overtime. [Mile High Hockey]
- The Chicago Blackhawks also fell 4-3 in overtime to a division rival, the Winnipeg Jets. Huh, I wonder what the score tonight in Colorado will end up being... [Second City Hockey]
In all seriousness, a win in regulation would put the Stars only three points out of third behind the Avalanche. Fingers crossed!
Don’t you just love Star-killers? Hahahahahahahahaspareme:
What would NHL stars have as their individual goal song? Greg Wyshynski has got you covered: [ESPN]
I think I agree with Gary Bettman over Down Goes Brown on an issue for the first time ever. I feel dirty:
Friday Grab Bag: Should the NHL expand the playoffs? I can see both sides on this one. Plus a word about personal goal songs, a YouTube look back as a visit from Adorable Hockey Grandpa goes wrong, and lots more. https://t.co/BBEiZnEWAh pic.twitter.com/lNDeIBHlmm— Down Goes Brown (@DownGoesBrown) December 14, 2018
Matt Larkin breaks down the top 10 trades of 2018, and No. 1 might not be what you expect it to be: [The Hockey News]
On that note, which veterans on struggling teams could be on the trading block? [NBC Sports]
Huh, this sounds very familiar. I wonder why...