In the end, it looked easy – at least for Miro Heiskanen. The Dallas Stars took a 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators in their own arena, a win that may turn out to be much bigger than the final score might suggest. And they had their rookie blueline prodigy to thank for much of it.
Sean Shapiro takes stock of how Heiskanen’s rookie season has presaged this moment in his after-action report for The Athletic:
He didn’t worry about the moment, he played the game just like he played any other game in his life, and just like any other game in his life he was pretty damn good at it.
“Similar to every other one,” Heiskanen said. “Just play my game and do my thing and my best. Didn’t think about playoff game. Just do my thing.”
The young Finn’s in-your-face greatness does come with side effects. For better or otherwise, the Predators (and future opponents) are now forced to reckon with him, and surely they will:
For some in the hockey world, Heiskanen has remained a bit off the radar — a side effect of his name not being Rasmus Dahlin and the fact on a national level the Stars didn’t receive much chatter that didn’t include comments from the team CEO.
That’s something Tyler Seguin pointed out to me early in the season. Maybe the Stars could hide Heiskanen a bit from the national scene, keep him a secret for a bit before he turns into a true national name.
There’s no chance of hiding him anymore.
Sean has more, including updates on Roope Hintz, Mats Zuccarello and Ben Bishop. [The Athletic DFW]
Can’t get enough of last night’s victory? Chat all about it with The Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks at noon Central time today.
We are chatting in 12 hours. Drop your Game 1 questions here: https://t.co/yQeMxlcGW8— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) April 11, 2019
Weren’t we just talking about how Zucc could be a secret weapon in the Stanley Cup playoffs when he picked up a GWG like it was no big deal?
And there’s new love out there for The Star Most Likely To Play Link In Some Alternate-Universe Movie Version of Breath of the Wild.
Roope Hintz is what I used to call the 800 numbers in Nintendo Power Magazine to get for help in beating the Legend of Zelda.— Winging It In Motown (@wingingitmotown) April 11, 2019
Miro is breathing some pretty rarified air with his playoffs performance so far.
He really is making a very hard job look easy.
There’s a new sheriff in Smashville.
Bruce LeVine is having some fun with facts...
Stars defeat Preds 3-2— Bruce LeVine (@BruceLeVinePuck) April 11, 2019
1) Mats Zuccarello gets the GWG
2) Miro Heiskanen with 2 goals becomes the youngest defenseman in 51 year history of franchise to score a goal in the Stanley Cup Playoffs
3) Ben Bishop stops 30-32. He has not allowed more than 2 goals in a game since Feb 4
...and Grubes came in with the perfect musical reference.
SWEET SWEEEEEEEEET DALLAS STARS PLAYOFF VICTORY!!!!!!!!! 15 TO GO!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/TZDRr9HfEJ— x-Michael Gruber (@tweetgrubes) April 11, 2019
Now watch this drive.
Around The League(s): Playoffs Edition
#Murder On #Death
Golden Knights 2, Sharks 5: Sharks vanquish Vegas in Game 1 https://t.co/8vQXF8f6hi— x - Fear the Fin (@fearthefin) April 11, 2019
Stanley Cup Fever: All-Sports Edition
Never doubt DFW’s major franchises support each other through thick and thin, despite that one thing that one time. FC Dallas sends love...
...the Dallas Cowboys send Leighton Vander Esch...
...and the Texas Rangers send more of those awesome theme-night sweaters.
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
I’ll just leave this here. Enjoy.