As the shot count climbed toward triple digits, John Klingberg threw the series-ending javelin. The Dallas Stars have dispatched the Nashville Predators, and now they face their old nemesis, the St. Louis Blues, in a division final that promises to be fraught with challenge.
But now, we celebrate. Sean Shapiro broke it down in what may be his happiest 20/20 of the year over at The Athletic DFW:
It could have been frustrating, and at times it was. But the Stars were encouraged by their play. They were attacking with waves, they were the better team, and eventually, Klingberg’s dagger proved it.
“You just stick with it, keep throwing pucks at the net,” Benn said. “I think we all know what overtime is like, anything can happen. You never know, the craziest things that can happen — bounces, whatever — just keep throwing pucks at the net and Kling made a great shot.”
Sean also brings another astonishing batch of stats for another Stars defenseman. It was another big night for Miro Heiskanen, and in other news, water is wet:
When [Heiskanen] wins a Norris Trophy someday, voters will look back at this series as the moment they realized just how good the Finn was.
In Game 6 Heiskanen played a game-high 32 minutes, 25 seconds. He played more minutes than any other player in this series, 159 minutes and 10 seconds. He’s second in the league in total ice time throughout the first round. He’s still 19 years old.
Remember “culture of mediocrity”? Head coach Jim Montgomery has struggled at times this season, but he left the Stars with one directive yesterday at practice:
After morning skate, Montgomery sent a straight-forward message when the team met at center ice.
“Leave no f***ing doubt tonight,” Montgomery told the team.
There’s much more behind the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]
Stars Stuff: Second Round Edition
The best surprise is no surprise. The Stars’ penalty kill came up flawless throughout the first round.
Did P.K. Subban make a strategic error before the game began?
Subban just conceded the last man off the ice competition with Seguin after warmups. These things matter.— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) April 23, 2019
A little more history = just another night for Miro.
Miro Heiskanen (32:25) is the third teenage defenseman to play at least 32 minutes in a playoff game. Jonas Brodin (34:20 in OT) and Erik Karlsson (40:38 in 3OT) were the others.— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) April 23, 2019
Josh Bogorad and Razor looked as if they didn’t want to leave the AAC.
They were probably just watching this on repeat.
Klinger breaks down his game-winner.
John Klingberg talks about everything that led up to his game-winning goal and how the Stars took down the top team in the Central Division. pic.twitter.com/J0TA9yurzw— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) April 23, 2019
And Anton Khudobin turns out to be A Good Guy In The Room, yet again.
Player who gets credit for the game-winning goal?— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) April 23, 2019
John Klingberg said he’s the one who coached him up and told him to shoot in that area.
He’s a good guy on the ice in more ways than one, too.
Clearly, Dak and Zeke are the anti-Romos and therefore must attend every home game for the rest of the playoffs.
Let’s just have a moment.
We are all the Stars coaching staff right now. pic.twitter.com/u3FSrRd1m9— (@squarerootof9) April 23, 2019
Mike McKenna may be the only person who’s rooting for Jason Dickinson and Roope Hintz more than you are.
FULL DISCLAIMER...Dickinson once babysat our daughters (they lived), and my 6 year old's favorite player (and mega crush) is Roope Hintz. So there may be some sentimentality— Mike McKenna *LIVE* (@McKennaInGame) April 23, 2019
Around The League(s): Game 7 Edition
They ain’t dead yet. The Canes put up a strong effort in front of a rocking PNC Arena tonight and forced Game 7 in what has been an incredible series, taking a 5-2 win in Game 6 over Washington: https://t.co/dCYa2uQSVB— x - Canes Country (@CanesCountry) April 23, 2019
At least Alex Ovechkin doesn’t have to go back to Raleigh for Game 7.
Two more series will end tonight, and the off-ice maneuvering has already begun:
"There’s still chatter. Their coach is chattering. He’s probably doing the most chattering. He’s talking to our players constantly during the game, which I haven’t seen before." https://t.co/6whSCrk46a via @mercnews— Curtis Pashelka (@CurtisPashelka) April 22, 2019
Meanwhile, in Manitoba, the Winnipeg Jets begin the Agonizing Reappraisal phase of post-playoffs mourning.
Winnipeg Jets general manager Cheveldayoff says ‘tough decisions’ on the way for team this summer https://t.co/UNCckgsNHw— Globe Sports (@Globe_Sports) April 23, 2019
I’ll just leave this here.
According to @betonline_ag, Blues are now the Stanley Cup favorites:— Jim Thomas (@jthom1) April 22, 2019
Blue Jackets, Islanders 7/1
Golden Knights 8/1
Avalanche, Sharks 9/1
Bruins, Stars, Maple Leafs 10/1
Greetings From Beautiful Boise
The Idaho Steelheads advanced to the Kelly Cup Mountain Division Final on Sunday. Here’s what the home schedule will look like, depending on whether their next opponent will be the Tulsa Oilers (St. Louis Blues) or the Kansas City Mavericks (Calgary Flames).
Start making your plans now.— x-Idaho Steelheads (@Steelheads) April 22, 2019
While we wait on our opponent for the Mountain Division Final (looking at you, @tulsa_oilers & @kc_mavericks ), here are the guaranteed home games for each series.
Tickets will be on sale immediately once the opponent is determined. #PushingOn pic.twitter.com/ygwkRYq5Rb
When you’ve aced the fundies, the only thing left to do is an extra-greasy diss track. The On The Bench crew name-checks everyone from Jack Eichel and Johnny Gaudreau to Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn in their new video (and single), Low Cheese Missy. Enjoy.