Joe Pavelski celebrated his 1,000th NHL game in pretty fine style. With a goal, an assist and the First Star of the Game in a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings, he added another highlight to an already stellar career.
It’s a star turn that seemed a long time coming back in October. But Pavelski’s leadership has helped make the turnaround possible, writes Dallas Stars senior staff writer Mike Heika:
“For us, myself and this group, we struggled early and we didn’t win games, and at the end of the day it’s all about winning games,” Pavelski said. “But we stuck together and we really found our identity. Now, we’re finding out who we are.”
Who they are is a diverse group that needs contributions from everyone. They need top players like Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov clicking. They need younger players like Roope Hintz, Miro Heiskanen and Denis Gurianov contributing. And they need wily veterans like Blake Comeau, Andrew Cogliano and Pavelski helping guide the ship.
And as Pavelski prepares to face the San Jose Sharks for the first time since leaving California, his leadership will be needed as much as ever:
“Playing a thousand games talks about skill and ability, but it also talks about character,” Stars interim coach Rick Bowness said. “It was a great honor for him tonight and he responded with an excellent game.”...
So the timing seems perfect that the Stars will head out on a West Coast road trip next week with Pavelski scheduled to play for the first time as a visitor in San Jose on Jan. 11.
”It’s not an easy switch to flip when you come from one team that you’ve been with for so long to another team. It’s a lot easier said than done,” Bowness said. “It doesn’t happen overnight, but he’s feeling more and more comfortable here and he’s a big part of our hockey club.”
There’s more at Mike’s place, including many more mementos from Pavelski’s big night. [Dallas Stars]
One of the nicer parts of the Red Wings game: saying hello to Trevor Daley once again.
I’m sorry for harking back to what must feel like last year already, but there’s just never an overdose of Dallas and Stars love from the national media.
And just a reminder that there’s even more Winter Classic coverage out there. Episode Two is up at YouTube, and Episode 3 will debut tonight.
Around The League(s)
- The Nashville Predators fought back and took the game to overtime, but they fell 5-4 in a shootout against the Anaheim Ducks in Honda Center. [On The Forecheck]
- The Minnesota Wild came up short at home against the Calgary Flames in their own 5-4 SO loss. [Hockey Wilderness]
- And the Chicago Blackhawks came back from a two-goal deficit to hang four unanswered goals on the Detroit Red Wings for a 4-2 win. [Second City Hockey]
Ryan Kennedy takes a look at the decisions that led to one of the most memorable moments of Canada’s gold-medal win at the 2020 World Juniors.
Akil Thomas was a fourth-liner for the majority of the World Junior Championship, but coach Dale Hunter's gut feeling led to Thomas' late shift in the gold medal game. The rest is history.@THNRyanKennedy with more from Ostrava:https://t.co/omewjcx1PO— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) January 6, 2020
ICYMI, Stars 2018 first-rounder and Team Canada forward Ty Dellandrea pulled focus in a good way at the tournament.
From Leon Draisaitl to Moritz Seider, Germany is producing a new generation of elite hockey talent. Here’s a look at an up-and-comer who could surpass them all.
“He’s a crazy player."— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) January 5, 2020
My @TheAthleticNHL story on top #2020NHLDraft prospect Tim Stutzle, his ‘superstar’ talent, and German hockey’s next generation: https://t.co/uHmgM2jtYZ pic.twitter.com/Ccu2voUwoE
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
After a big NHL debut on Saturday, injury call-up Joel Kiviranta is back with the Texas Stars.
Goalie prospect Jake Oettinger was a hero in the shutout victory.
A 33 saves shutout in front of a sold out crowd at H-E-B Center at Cedar Park. Not bad, Jake... Not bad at all. pic.twitter.com/MS2XGaWl3y— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) January 5, 2020
If you’re still looking in vain for a Winter Classic sweater, your friend Ben Bishop might be able to hook you up. Enjoy.