When it comes to prospects and NHL rookies, everyone loves to play the “who’s their comparison?” game. Scouts, reporters, and fans alike enjoy tossing names around, often naming current or recent NHL stars who share a similar style with the young player.
So who’s the best comparison for Dallas Stars’ rookie Miro Heiskanen? According to head coach Jim Montgomery, one of the greatest defenseman of all time:
“Niedermayer,” Montgomery quickly said. “Scott Niedermayer.”
Most people will roll their eyes at a statement like that. But when Montgomery looks at film of Niedermayer and compares it to Heiskanen’s play, he feels the comparison isn’t that far off:
“It’s God-given ability,” Montgomery said. “That’s what it is. That play that Niedermayer scored for Jersey where he went in, rushed back, broke up a play and went back down and scored. We’ve seen Miro do that three or four times this year already.”
You can read more in Matthew DeFranks’ piece here.
From Stars PR: Per NHL Stats, tonight marked the first time in Stars/North Stars franchise history that two goalies both appeared in net in a game and neither goalie let in a single goal.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) December 19, 2018
Tonight, also marked the 67th time in NHL history that this has happened.
Joel Hanley played in the game after clearing waivers yesterday. Meanwhile, the Boston Bruins placed Gemel Smith on waivers, prompting discussion about what happens if Dallas tries to claim him:
Here is the language in the CBA regarding the Gemel Smith waivers situation with Dallas. If they are the only team to make a claim, they can send him down to the AHL without waivers. pic.twitter.com/LeF9wG6DXG— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) December 18, 2018
Sean Shapiro tackles the waivers situation, plus some John Klingberg talk, in his latest notebook:
Emptying the Stars notebook: Klingberg's return and upcoming roster decisions https://t.co/j6DZjAWWbs— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) December 18, 2018
Six of the seven teams in the Central played last night, including the Stars. I’d say it worked out rather well for Dallas:
- The Minnesota Wild’s struggles continue, getting shutout 4-0 to the San Jose Sharks. [Fear the Fin]
- The worst team in the Central, the Chicago Blackhawks, faced off against the best team, the Nashville Predators, without Corey Crawford. So of course Chicago won 2-1. [Second City Hockey]
- The Winnipeg Jets were also the victim of an upset, as their five-game winning streak was snapped in a 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings.
- Obviously doing Dallas a favor in the wild card race, the St. Louis Blues beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-1. [Copper and Blue]
Spoiler alert: they’re stoppable.
With the Stars five points out of third place, I thought about sharing the Wild Card race instead since it’s more relevant to the Stars right now. But that depressed me, so here’s the Central Division standings anyways:
The future is now for the Philadelphia Flyers, who saw goaltender Carter Hart make his long-awaited debut:
Remember when GM Jim Nill was known as one of the more aggressive traders in the league?
Revealing GM tendencies: Which NHL GMs trade the most? When do they like to deal? https://t.co/e5hAOilJ0w— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) December 18, 2018
Call me crazy, but claiming that star players aren’t treated fairly by the refs because they don’t get calls in their favor is a laughable concept to me:
Oilers coach Ken Hitchcock called out officials for allowing teams to get away with abusing superstar Connor McDavid, and the veteran bench boss was right to do so, writes @THNKenCampbellhttps://t.co/tIO8Xq8vdA pic.twitter.com/UFaVtkZPpx— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) December 19, 2018
Dallas Cowboys rookie Leighton Vander Esch is one of the best players on a very good Cowboys defense (this past Sunday aside). He attended the Stars game last night, and the Stars proceeded to earn two points in a shutout. Coincidence? I think not.