Jamie Benn is back, and the Dallas Stars are looking like a contender.
The Captain scored twice and was on the ice for two more of the Stars’ six goals against the Vancouver Canucks last night. He took over the game in the kind of performance that made him one of hockey’s elite and an object of fan worship, writes Sean Shapiro:
It was a vintage “Sochi Benn” game in which the Stars captain combined physicality and skill. It’s the combination that made him a very rich man, and it’s the combo that left the Canucks without an answer.
I got a text during the game from an NHL scout who was watching the game on TV and wrote, “Damn, Benn is looking like the player that the Stars wanted to build a team around.”
Maybe the off-season conditioning is kicking in, or maybe it’s the change in scenery. Justin Dowling centered Benn and Tyler Seguin yet again and scored his
fourth third goal in four games. Dowling as top-line pivot may not be a permanent solution, but it’s worked for a reason, Shapiro observes:
Dowling has fit with Benn and Seguin because of his positioning and relatively hidden skill. He’s defensively reliable at center, which has given Seguin a bit more freedom, and he has the hands to finish tight plays, sometimes of the highlight-reel variety.
His offside goal in the first period was a good example of him playing well off Seguin and going to the net. The same goes for his actual goal in the third period, and his one-two combo that helped set up [Miro] Heiskanen’s blast was just an exclamation point.
Read more from Sean’s 20/20 behind the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]
You’re going to hear the word “confidence” a lot when people are talking about the Stars.
When Monty uses the words confidence, success, and execution in the same answer, you know the @DallasStars are doing something right— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) November 20, 2019
Hear from the Stars' bench boss after a dominant dub ⬇️#GoStars pic.twitter.com/yiWq8s9r0a
Brand-new Hall of Famer Guy Carbonneau made his name with the Montreal Canadiens, but for many, he’ll always be a Star.
Here was my story on Guy Carbonneau:https://t.co/m7zPJVoY4w— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) November 19, 2019
Meanwhile, Hockey Fights Cancer Night is tomorrow, and John Klingberg is asking for a favor.
Defenseman @johnklingberg wants your help in honoring our friend Brody.— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) November 18, 2019
In conjunction with #HockeyFightsCancer, we will be hosting another Lego drive this week, where Legos will be donated to children fighting cancer. #StarsFightCancer | #GoStars pic.twitter.com/t10itxx6oL
Here’s how to help:
And just like that, it’s your favorite time of year.
Around The League(s)
In On The #Kill Taker
- Zach Parise got two goals of his own as the Minnesota Wild took down the Buffalo Sabres, 4-1. [Hockey Wilderness]
- The St. Louis Blues beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 as the Bolts took several injuries, including one to reigning Art Ross winner Nikita Kucherov. [Raw Charge]
- The Winnipeg Jets won their third straight with a 2-1 Central-on-Central takedown of the Nashville Predators – who lost their fifth in a row. [On The Forecheck]
- The Jerk Store called, and they’re all out of wins: The Chicago Blackhawks snapped a four-game streak in a 4-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. [Second City Hockey]
- And the Colorado Avalanche are fighting hurt, but they proved they’re still in the game with a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames. [Mile High Hockey]
Bad news travels far and fast, but no news travels at the speed of light: The NHL GMs are meeting, and they’re still not taking head injuries seriously.
NHL won't amend rule after Calvert controversy and other bits from the GM meetings in Toronto https://t.co/8fYdmmsg3I— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) November 19, 2019
The latest Sports Illustrated power rankings focus on the question
everyone hardly anyone is asking – but they get it right with a big move for the Stars.
Power Rankings: The Capitals and Islanders keep piling on the wins, while the struggles continue with the Maple Leafshttps://t.co/fGdnI4e45N— SI NHL (@SI_NHL) November 20, 2019
Don’t resign yourself to calling them Seattle Team To Be Named Later forever. Not just yet.
Marc-Andre Fleury, beating the deadline for his Save of the Year submission. Enjoy.