The NHL version of Denis Gurianov had a party in Dallas last night. The Russian right wing looked every bit like the first-round draft pick he was with two nasty goals in the first period, including what turned out to be the game-winner.
This was the Gurianov the Stars have been hoping for, and head coach Jim Montgomery was quick to point it out after the game:
Since Gurianov has returned from the AHL, he’s been more engaged in the game, both using his speed to cut his way to the net and also physically to finish checks and knock opponents off the puck.
“I think his checking skills all over have really improved,” Stars coach Jim Montgomery said. “And you can his confidence is growing. He’s finishing a lot of checks. He’s causing turnovers. His first goal was a finished check by [Andrew] Cogliano, bumps it to him with speed underneath. That’s great support by him and a really good play by Cogliano.”
For his part, Gurianov says that playing more helps him play better. Montgomery seems ready to oblige:
The Stars are hoping Gurianov can be this season’s Roope Hintz: a speedy youngster who begins the season on the fourth line, discovers his game in the AHL and turns into a scorer in the NHL. Does Montgomery have to try to convince Gurianov that his game works at this level?
“I think we’ve been trying to do that for a while, and now he’s going out and doing it,” Montgomery said. “I think, mentally, he’s starting to believe that not only can he do it, but he can do it really well in this league.”
Matthew has more. [SportsDayDFW]
Sean Shapiro concludes that devoted Stars followers could see this coming.
Stars 20/20: Denis Gurianov plays hero as Stars shoot down Ducks https://t.co/vxv13biKsB— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) October 25, 2019
You want to watch that again? Of course you do.
THAT'S ONE WAY TO START A GAME!— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) October 25, 2019
Denis Gurianov freezes Gibson with a PRETTY backhand shot and roofs it to give the @DallasStars a 1-0 lead on their first shot of the game! #GoStars pic.twitter.com/g51Thfg5Gk
Post a Captain America meme if you understand that reference.
D - Demonstrate value— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) October 25, 2019
E - Eviscerate goalie confidence
N - Nice backhand
I - Inspire hope
S - score https://t.co/akJAqZzD8u
Montgomery believes winning is more instructive than losing.
Understatement of the year?
So this is why the Stars haven’t practiced much?
And Corey Perry brought an opening for a smashing pun.
Around The League(s)
#Murder Was The Case
- The St. Louis Blues took advantage of a leaky Los Angeles Kings penalty kill for three PPGs and a 5-2 victory. [Jewels From The Crown]
- Pekka Rinne turned in a 26-save performance as the Nashville Predators shut out the Minnesota Wild 4-0. [On The Forecheck]
- And the Chicago Blackhawks ended their home stand on a low note with a 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. [Second City Hockey]
Has Dave Tippett, at long last, righted the Edmonton Oilers’ ship? It’s beginning to look that way, says Ryan Kennedy.
Meanwhile, the Montreal Canadiens need a shot to the special teams if they’re going to save their season.
Right now, the @CanadiensMTL rank 30th on the penalty kill. They’ve killed off just 67.6 per cent of their penalties.— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) October 25, 2019
If they don’t fix this quick, it’s going to cost them dearly, writes @EricEngels.https://t.co/fuyN6lM3tE
Watch this space to see if the Stars make a move in the Sports Illustrated power rankings.
I guess maybe Auston Matthews knows something about getting yelled at by now.
'We're a family here, but sometimes you've got to yell at your family,' Matthews says of solving problems in Toronto https://t.co/i188p9R9Fc— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) October 24, 2019
This is what ’90s Night will look like at the Ottawa Senators. Get your tickets....
Sens are having a 90s-themed night on Friday against the Islanders.— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) October 23, 2019
First 2,500 fans are going to end up with these old-school, retro hats. pic.twitter.com/Pl3ilefhUf
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
But there’s much more T-Stars hockey to come this weekend.
It’s #HockeyHalloween, and the Stars are doing something about it. Enjoy.