After a solid rookie season in 2015-16 that saw him score 29 points in 73 games, Mattias Janmark didn’t even get a chance to suffer through a potential “sophomore slump”. Instead, the Dallas Stars forward was out the entire 2016-17 season with osteochondritis dissecans, “a joint disorder where bone underneath the cartilage of a joint dies due to lack of blood flow”.
To put that into layman’s terms, there were serious doubts about whether Janmark would ever be able to get back on the ice.
“It was a freakish injury, and I think the fact you’re unsure if you’re going to play again is more fearful than anything,” Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said. “If it’s an ACL, you know the time frame, but this was a question mark of whether you’re going to play again.”
But Janmark was able to make a full recovery, and has already matched his numbers from his rookie year in 20 less games. In fact, he is one of only seven Stars’ players to play in every game this season.
“It’s quite an accomplishment,” teammate Jason Spezza said. “What he did is not easy, there’s doubt in your mind as a player. I think he was a little tentative in camp, but he has been great.”
“He’s a great skater and he’s good on his edges, and I don’t think people know how strong his legs are,” Spezza said. “I like playing with him because he has really high hockey IQ. He sees the same thing I see in a game, and then we’ll have three really good shifts in a row. You don’t have to wait until intermission to hash things out, it just comes naturally.”
I doubt he would win the Masterson Trophy, and I imagine he’s not very well known in the national media, but it would be a tragedy if Janmark wasn’t at least a finalist for the Masterton Trophy this year.
You can read more at Mike’s place here.
Is Monday’s game still fresh in your mind? No? Well let’s fix that with Scott Burnside’s 5 Takeaways: [NHL]
This... this is pretty impressive:
The @DallasStars have held their opponent to one or zero goals a league-best 18 times this season. That is one-third of their games.— Josh Bogorad (@JoshBogorad) February 6, 2018
That’s not the only impressive stat-line from the Stars:
Alex Radulov has the best high danger scoring chance differential in the NHL among forwards this season (700+ minutes).— Andrew Berkshire (@AndrewBerkshire) February 6, 2018
While he's on, the Stars put 8 HD chances up every 60 minutes, and only give up 4.18.
Scott Burnside sat down with Kari Lehtonen in his latest “On the Fly” interview. [NHL]
In celebration of 1,000 career games, Dan Hamhuis takes a little trip down memory lane:
Aside from reaching the huge milestone of 1,000 NHL games recently with the @DallasStars, Dan Hamhuis rattles off the best moments of his career so far in this week's #MyTop5. Hints: Two of them were with the @Canucks, one was away from NHL ice ➡️https://t.co/QVuSTEbX2P pic.twitter.com/5GnT5cEqA2— NHLPA (@NHLPA) February 6, 2018
Around the League
It was a busy night in the league yesterday, including five Central Division teams hitting the ice:
- In the only matchup between rivals, the Minnesota Wild clobbered the St. Louis Blues 6-2. [Hockey Wilderness]
- The Calgary Flames seem to have the Chicago Blackhawks number, winning 3-2 this time around. [Second City Hockey]
- Meanwhile Jonathan Bernier was a stone wall as the Colorado Avalanche defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-1. [Mile High Hockey]
- Finally, the Winnipeg Jets edged out a 4-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes. [Arctic Ice Hockey]
Speaking of Winnipeg, it seems like Patrik Laine isn’t planning on leaving anytime soon (dang it):
The trade deadline is growing ever closer. Here’s your roundup on the latest rumors and speculation: [Sportsnet]
All this talk about trades makes me think of the GMs who make them, which leads me to this interesting tweet:
sneak peek at the pie charts for our research into the background of your favourite team's general manager. Where do these guys come from?— Jason Paul (@WaveIntel) February 6, 2018
Former pro players are in demand for NHL executive jobs; more so than their sister leagues. more to come.#NHL #NBA #MLB pic.twitter.com/gL4kbxlQRP
Meanwhile, Connor McDavid is having another phenomenal season, and the Edmonton Oilers are arguably wasting it:
Connor McDavid may author one of NHL’s best wasted seasons https://t.co/H2TtPg636I— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) February 6, 2018
And if we decide to peak a bit further into the crystal ball, here are Matt Larkin’s Top 30 UFA’s entering the offseason: [The Hockey News]
Marc-Andre Fleury was finally back in Pittsburgh last night, and the goaltender was welcomed with wide open arms:
the crowd has started chanting Fleury’s name pic.twitter.com/3X7CJocYdp— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) February 7, 2018
(His homecoming was bittersweet, however, as the Penguins beat the Golden Knights 5-4.)