Greg Pateryn has come a long way from a checkered tenure with the Montreal Canadiens to top four in minutes on the Dallas Stars’ blue line. During the 2017-18 season so far, he’s won the trust of his coaches to the point that he leads all Stars defenders for time on ice quality of competition.
Fans may like to mock head coach Ken Hitchcock’s “big” mantra (affectionately or otherwise), but Hitch has reasons other than Pateryn’s 6’3” stature for liking what he has become. Mike Heika of The Dallas Morning News writes:
“He’s a really competitive player who has a conscience for the team. He’s one of the guys you can really build around, because he’s such a stable guy. He’s like a coach on the ice,” Hitchcock said.
”He’s got a conscience of doing things the right way, and he’s demanding of the players. He demands it in a different way by asking questions, asking questions that matter to the team. He’s very appreciated by the coaching staff because of that.”
By his own reckoning, Pateryn has managed to stick in the Stars’ lineup by finding a niche and filling it:
“I’m not the flashiest player, but I find a way to get it done out there,” Pateryn said. “I think you do come in and see players who are better than you and tell yourself that you have to find a way to stay in the lineup, you have to do something that they need on the team.”
Mike has more. [SportsDayDFW]
John Klingberg picked up another point in last night’s series-sweeping win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Sean Shapiro puts his scoring streak in context:
If John Klingberg had zero goals this season, he'd still lead all NHL defensemen in points right now.— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) February 9, 2018
But here’s the play you’re talking about this morning: Patrick Sharp crunched Julius Honka right in the numbers, and directly into a turnbuckle. Honka did not return to the game due to an unspecified upper-body injury. He’s scheduled for evaluation today.
honka down the tunnel after this hit by sharp pic.twitter.com/s1xn3jqEnO— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) February 9, 2018
Here’s Li’l Murderface thinkin’ about murder on the way to concussion protocol, probably:
little ball of angry pic.twitter.com/DpvMsEN9RB— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) February 9, 2018
Boy, Hitch sure can sum things up some kind of way. Here he is on Blackhawks bench boss Joel Quenneville, via ESPN’s Emily Kaplan:
This Hitch quote— SportsDay Stars (@dmn_stars) February 9, 2018
[via @emilymkaplan] pic.twitter.com/jGphE1O6Gl
The Stars are back home to take on an increasingly dominant Evgeni Malkin and the resurgent Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at 7:30 p.m. CST. Mark Stepneski posted a few vital facts late last night:
Hitchcock said Honka (upper body) will be evaluated tomorrow.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) February 9, 2018
Hanzal is fine.
Hitchcock indicated tonight's healthy scratches - Smith, Dickinson, Heatherington - will play tomorrow.
Lehtonen in goal vs. Penguins.
Tonight’s Stars-Pens game will be a sort of homecoming for Hall of Famer Bill Guerin.
Billy G is back! The Stars will hold Bill Guerin's Reunion Night Friday against the Penguins. Despite his short time here, Guerin remains a popular personality with Stars fans. https://t.co/XfIIN5Z9Wx— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) February 8, 2018
Show up early to Victory Plaza to get in on the pregame festivities. Bring a pair of shoes for Dallas LIFE Shelter and get a free pair of flip-flops in return – they may come in handy if you win that trip to the Florida Gulf Coast.
Stop by Victory Plaza prior to Friday's game and enter to win a trip to @VisitBradenton off of Florida's West Coast! Donate a pair of shoes to @DallasLIFE and get a free pair of flip flops!— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) February 8, 2018
INFO: https://t.co/dOWk7RPHg8 pic.twitter.com/UvQXJRLxQv
Around the League(s)
#Murder Was The Case
Sometimes you #MDK, and sometimes you get #MDK-ed:
- Kyle Turris got his tribute, but Mike Hoffman scored his 100th goal as the Ottawa Senators bested the Nashville Predators 4-3. [Silver Seven]
- In more Central-on-Central violence, the St. Louis Blues pummeled the Colorado Avalanche 6-1. [Mile High Hockey]
- And the Arizona Coyotes scored four unanswered goals to shock the Minnesota Wild in overtime, 4-3. [Five For Howling]
Nashville GM David Poile doesn’t intend to lose the Stanley Cup this year – and he’s on the hunt for the trade deadline pieces that will push his team over the top. [NHL]
Alexander Radulov is one of five players – and one of two in the Central – who have started the new year with a resolution to rock.
New Year’s domination: Five players who have been red-hot since the calendar flipped to 2018, from @THNJaredClinton: https://t.co/Bl3RXu5HMZ pic.twitter.com/gN9t0Gy89i— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) February 8, 2018
Roberto Luongo practiced with the Florida Panthers for the first time since his Dec. 4 groin injury – and looks set to return to the net next week. [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Roberto Luongo talks to the media for the first time since his groin injury in December. #FlaPanthers pic.twitter.com/fZzcAhNGsX— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) February 8, 2018
Elsewhere in the Sunshine State: The Tampa Bay Lightning will retire the No. 4 of Vincent Lecavalier before Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings. Martin Fennelly has written a tribute to “the most Lightning player in Lightning history.”
.@mjfennelly: why #TBLightning is honoring Vinny Lecavalier. “He’s the face of hockey in Tampa,” Brad Richards said https://t.co/VfRJqU8eY6— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) February 9, 2018
In “Hockey Is For Everyone” news: The Washington Capitals reaffirmed a special relationship with the United Arab Emirates women’s team by organizing an incredible big-league experience.
Capitals help UAE women's team experience trip of lifetime https://t.co/hDHWIQ8aMZ via @NHL— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) February 8, 2018
Tough news for Valeri Nichushkin, who lost his appeal – along with 46 other Russian athletes and coaches – to be allowed to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics. [BBC]
Valeri Nichushkin loses appeal to be Olympic eligible. We still don't have a clear answer why he was banned https://t.co/i9pvtvAOHW— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) February 9, 2018
We may not know why Nuke has been banned, but NHL.com Russia reporter Igor Eronko seems to confirm that doping was not part of it:
It can't be connected to doping in case of Nichushkin, Bereglazov or Naumenkov— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) January 23, 2018
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
Have tickets for Saturday’s game between the Texas Stars and the Tucson Roadrunners? Tweet your seat to @TXStarsRingo – you could win a special Valentine’s Day flower delivery, direct from the T-Stars’ mascot.
Ringo or Cupid? Tweet your seat to @TXStarsRingo during Saturday's game for him to deliver a flower directly to you! 20 lucky fans will get this special Valentine's Day treat! pic.twitter.com/3XpsmhwWTf— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) February 8, 2018
Arrive early to get your free T-Stars beach towel – because in a cold Texas winter, it’s never too early to start thinking about spring break.
This is one giveaway you WON'T want to miss! Arrive early Saturday for your free #txstars beach towel! ️ ️— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) February 8, 2018
Tickets still available: https://t.co/lL4rs6wUxY pic.twitter.com/djS3M2oczH
Stars video coach Kelly Forbes and longtime ice-level correspondent Julie Ann Dobbs are raising a hockey player. Enjoy.
Realizing after bedtime books my toddler is still working on his ABC’s but knows “face off”, “line change”, “power play” and every piece of goalie equipment. ♀️ #hockeygenius #booksfromcanada #priorities pic.twitter.com/A4Qtd2sQzY— Julie Dobbs (@JulieAnnDobbs) February 8, 2018