It wasn’t “pretty or perfect,” writes Stars senior staff writer Mike Heika. But it may signal a new mindset toward winning that could serve them well as they try to lock down a postseason spot:
While it’s generally good to get a team on the second night of a back-to-back, it wasn’t good on Wednesday. The Sabres are fighting for a playoff spot in the East, and they felt pretty good about their game. So playing for the first time in 10 days against an opponent that was flying wasn’t the easiest test for Dallas.
The Stars knew that and responded with a serious attitude that fit the situation. You can argue they didn’t do that against Philadelphia or St. Louis or Los Angeles in losses before the break. You can argue it might be the biggest flaw on this team so far this season.
So when they do it, you have to take note and say, “this is different.”
The clearest lack was in depth scoring; Jamie Benn got the Stars’ only goal on an assist from Taylor Fedun. But one player who isn’t worried is First Star Ben Bishop, who backstopped the Stars to victory:
“We have a lot of guys in here that can score a lot of goals. I’m not too worried about the goal production,” said [Bishop], who had 30 saves for his 27th career shutout. “Any given night, these guys can break out. They’ve done it before. We’ve seen it this year. You’re going to find different ways to win each night.
There’s more at Mike’s place. [Dallas Stars]
Jamie Oleksiak got a nice welcome-back in the form of the Cowboy Hat.
Head coach Jim Montgomery liked what he saw from the Big Rig and gave a brief update on Jason Dickinson, who left early after an apparently minor lower-body injury.
Jason Dickinson is pretty angry going down the tunnel. Got on the ice during the break to test something out, slammed his stick on the ground in the tunnel.— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) January 31, 2019
And the Stars loved this Anton Khudobin reaction shot so much, they made it their new Twitter banner.
Around The League(s)
The Victory Green Gang were the only #Kill in town last night, so let’s take a look at the other headlines:
Steven Stamkos and Evgeni Malkin drop the gloves pic.twitter.com/UB07SbpMqe— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) January 31, 2019
Artemi Panarin to the Nashville Predators? How about no...?
It's possible the Blue Jackets keep Artemi Panarin as their own playoff "rental," but teams will line up to make trade offers regardless.— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) January 30, 2019
Who are the potential suitors for him? @THNMattLarkin offers five teams to watch.https://t.co/cF6eiKcpEo pic.twitter.com/XWbLF4PooR
#BellLetsTalk trended all day yesterday. Legendary coach Mike Babcock spoke up for hockey players who want to speak out about their fight with mental illness.
Many athletes remain silent about their mental health issues for fear of being seen as not 'mentally tough.'— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) January 31, 2019
But Mike Babcock says there's an important distinction between mental toughness and mental illness.#BellLetsTalk https://t.co/Hh6mjyvWaQ pic.twitter.com/qAbLkAfFhF
Speaking of legendary coaches, Canada has a new
honor honour for Ken Hitchcock.
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
Join us tomorrow for another Texas Stars Night at @Whitestonebeer! The #txstars take on the Grand Rapids Griffins at 7:00 p.m. but the party kicks off at 4:30 p.m! See you there! pic.twitter.com/X6WmqXqxb7— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) January 31, 2019
If you haven’t seen NBC Sports’ new YouTube joint, “The P.K. Project” takes you into the life of one of the NHL’s biggest (and most marketable) personalities. Episode One: P.K. Subban’s sisters give him the business. Enjoy.