The Texas Stars are on a roll. They’ve played 34 overtime games this season and have won six playoffs games in a row. They’ve just taken a two-game lead in the 2018 Calder Cup Western Conference Finals. And they’re getting great play from high-end youngsters like Gavin Bayreuther, Jason Dickinson, Denis Gurianov and Roope Hintz.
That experience is making them better NHL prospects as well as AHL players, as Scott White, Dallas Stars assistant general manager and GM of the Texas Stars, tells Mike Heika:
“The level of play, the intensity of the situations, it’s stuff that you need to live through. It opens your eyes and shows what you need to do to get to the next level. Guys get their feet wet, and it prepares them mentally, as well as physically.”
The playoffs are the kind of development opportunity every team dreams of, and the young Stars are making the most of it, says their coach:
“This time of year for these young guys to get that kind of exposure and that kind of experience helps their game galvanize a little bit,” said Texas Stars coach Derek Laxdal. “Gavin has really taken some huge steps. I thought [Roope] in overtime really took a step in his game. I thought [Denis] really took another step.
”That’s what it’s all about. Every time you have a chance to take another step with these kids, they are going to be better for it in the future and they’re going to be better Dallas Stars moving forward.”
There’s more at Mike’s place – now paywall-free. [Dallas Stars]
Want a closer look at the T-Stars’ performance under pressure?
At The Dallas Morning News, Josh Friemel judges Jim Nill’s season grade as GM.
John Klingberg is a goofball, and now so is Rickard Rakell. Here they are doing the floss after picking up their IIHF World Championship gold medals.
John Klingberg and Rickard Rakell did a thing. pic.twitter.com/w6NV2mqtYD— Alex Nunn (@aj_ranger) May 21, 2018
Around the League(s)
T.J. Oshie scored twice, including the GWG, and now the memes just write themselves.
The Vegas Golden Knights are no doubt enjoying their downtime as they wait for the Stanley Cup Final to get set.
If we play Tampa Bay, we'll host games 3, 4 & 6— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) May 22, 2018
If we play Washington, we'll host games 1, 2, 5 & 7
EITHER WAY... YOU GET MORE HOCKEY, VEGAS! pic.twitter.com/zejn9rTyzY
Will he get there just in time to hammer out an eight-figure deal with John Tavares? Statistician Matt Cane predicts term and AAV for the UFA class of 2018.
Here we go! Final (assuming I don't find any errors) contract predictions for the 2018 Free Agent Class:https://t.co/CwF6kTUfdZ— Matt Cane (@Cane_Matt) May 21, 2018
And fellow Hockey-Graphs.com staff member Benjamin Wendorf looks at how team talent tracks with team performance to see what it says about how competitive the NHL really is.
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
Who’s going to the T-Stars-IceHogs watch party in H-E-B Center tonight? Admission is free, and the team store will be open, as well as selected concessions. (If you try Mike McKenna’s Patty Stack Burger, let the rest of us know!)
Who's joining us @HEBCenter tomorrow night for the Western Conference Finals Game 3 Watch Party?— x - Texas Stars (@TexasStars) May 21, 2018
Admission is FREE with trivia and prizes all while cheering the Stars on to victory! Doors open at 6:30 PM while puck drops at 7:00 PM. pic.twitter.com/HXd07Sq1UQ
Dustin Byfuglien as an MMA fighter? It’s more likely than you think, says Forrest Griffin. Enjoy!