Happy trade deadline day folks! It’s looking more and more like the Dallas Stars won’t be major players (as of Sunday night), but we’ll see how it shakes out. Apologies if more has happened after I queued this, but it’s late Sunday night and I need my beauty sleep.
Jamie Benn hasn’t quite seemed like himself lately. While the physicality and hustle are still there, he has scored only one goal in the last 13 games and something just seems kind of off:
He just doesn’t seem as noticeable out there. He doesn’t go into “beast mode” the way he used to. He doesn’t seem as dynamic as he once was. He seems like a calmer, cooler version of himself, and maybe that’s part of the transition into Ken Hitchcock’s system of controlled hockey.
Benn hasn’t been silent on the offensive front, with several key assists in recent games, but he hasn’t been taking over games like we’ve seen in seasons past. It seems as if Benn is thinking too much, or maybe worrying about staying within the confines of Hitchcock’s system so much that the essence of his game has been taking a backseat. Hitch doesn’t see it that way, however:
“I think people confuse beast mode with running around and hitting people,” Hitchcock said. “Beast mode, to me, is how strong you are with the puck. What we’re trying to teach is that 75 percent of great defensive hockey is what you do with the puck. If we manage the puck properly, we’ll be able to play with anybody - and him and Seguin and Radulov, they’re the lead dogs.”
I think we can remain very optimistic that the Benn of old will rear his head eventually. Hopefully sooner rather than later. (Full disclosure, it is very hard for me to say anything critical about Jamie Benn because he is one of my favorite Stars of all time). See more at Mike’s place. [SportsDayDFW]
I’m writing this on Sunday night, so we’ll see if Jim Nill stays true to his word:
Scott Burnside goes over what the Stars need to do moving forward in his takeaways from Saturday night’s disaster:
Stephen Johns can really crank it:
Stephen Johns and the lost art of the slapshot https://t.co/HlTFF4xZiJ— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) February 25, 2018
This is moderately reassuring:
One month ago:— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) February 26, 2018
Stars led Calgary by two points, now one.
Led Los Angeles by three points, still three
Led Colorado by three points, now five
Things kind of ebb and flow over the course of the season. https://t.co/Xivtq0gJag
Around the League
Trades and trade rumors abound! Here is a quick recap of what happened yesterday:
- The Boston Bruins “won” the Rick Nash sweepstakes, but some are wondering if they gave up too much to get him (three players and two picks, including a first). [SportsNet]
- The Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens made a deal with the biggest piece being Tomas Plekanec heading to Toronto. [SportsNet]
- The Edmonton Oilers got a bit speedier on the wing with their acquisition of Pontus Aberg from the Nashville Predators. [SportsNet]
- Nashville got a couple of AHL players from the San Jose Sharks for a sixth-round pick. [SportsNet]
- The Vancouver Canucks and the Oilers both look like they’ve got something in the works. [SportsNet]
- The St. Louis Blues might be sellers:
After losing 6 in a row, sounds like the St. Louis Blues are trying to move some assets by tomorrow... hearing Sobotka is now available. Expensive, but available.— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) February 25, 2018
- Brian Gianti is now on the Bruins apparently:
When you grade your own signing pic.twitter.com/lNYehcikfo— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) February 25, 2018
Well, this is terrible:
Condolences from all of us at Defending Big D go to Jordan Staal and his family.
Kind of a cool story:
Stoneman Douglas H.S. claims hockey title https://t.co/ZucZrAnpf0— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) February 25, 2018
Tyler Pitlick provided some inspiration to Leon Draisaitl: