John Klingberg and Esa Lindell both play defense. Both wear “A”s for the Dallas Stars. Both are listed as 6-3 (look it up – it’s true). After that, their profiles diverge considerably.
But as this odd couple has become the Stars’ unexpected top pair, their differences keep tending to complement each other. Stars senior staff writer Mike Heika took a closer look at how their surprising partnership has evolved, from teamwork on the ice to friendship outside the arena:
“When I came here last year, Esa was the biggest surprise for me,” said Stars interim coach Rick Bowness, who said he didn’t know much about Lindell before he got here. “He’s just so reliable defensively, he can eat up a lot of minutes, but he’s intelligent about his minutes. He can play against the best players, he’s good on the power play.
”Esa Lindell, you talk about a team MVP, he’s at the top of the list.”
Some Stars fans are old enough to remember when Klingberg was “too small” and “too skinny” to have any impact in the NHL. As it turns out, he is, too:
“I was never the best player on the team when I was young, so I had to work harder than everybody else, and I think that’s helped me a lot,” Klingberg said. “I guess I have been proving over and over since I was young that I can play. I think people see physical play and think that’s what a competitor is, but I think I can work hard and play hard and play smart, and I am competitive.
”I’m physical in my way, and I have a good stick, and I feel like that works for me.”
There’s more at Mike’s place. [Dallas Stars]
Rick Bowness has injury updates for Alexander Radulov and Justin Dowling.
Interested in a career in sports? Learn more with the Stars.
Looking for a career in sports?— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) February 11, 2020
Join us at our annual career fair and get your resume in front of numerous sports and media organizations.
Registration includes a ticket to the game vs. Arizona on Feb. 19.
: https://t.co/bBFDyXiAD5 pic.twitter.com/vGmecnF216
Around The League(s)
#Murder Was The Case
- The Vancouver Canucks are clinging to the top spot in the Pacific Division after hanging a 6-2 loss on the Nashville Predators to kick off Sedin Week. [On The Forecheck]
The Nucks’ ascendance has resurfaced the issue of player targeting, with Elias Pettersson as its new poster child.
Elias Pettersson's star status means he faces a greater level of abuse from opposing defenders than many of his teammates.— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) February 10, 2020
But it's time for the NHL to take a stand and do more to protect its players, writes @THNKenCampbellhttps://t.co/gY2m4jgXwV
#TradeCentre Alert: #Wild trade F Jason Zucker to #Penguins for F Alex Galchenyuk, D Calen Addison and a 2020 first-round pick (via TSN Hockey Insider @TSNBobMcKenzie).— SportsCentre (@SportsCentre) February 11, 2020
TRACKER: https://t.co/pPMsIhxRcL pic.twitter.com/mC5N00irVW
When you play 1,500 NHL games, maybe you’ll get Infinity Gloves, too.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have lost top defender Seth Jones “indefinitely” to a fractured ankle that requires surgery.
"I don't know if there is a skater, with the way this team is built, more important than Seth Jones." pic.twitter.com/oE0pidjg7H— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) February 10, 2020
Jones’ injury is part of an unfortunate pattern for the Metropolitan Division right now.
The Metro as of this morning:— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) February 10, 2020
The Islanders are without Adam Pelech
The Hurricanes are without Dougie Hamilton
The Blue Jackets are without Seth Jones
Three teams all without their number-one D-man. Crazy.
“At this point in time, we continue to believe that the negatives outweigh the positives.” The fans want it, the players want it, but the NHL is still bucking a return to the Winter Olympics.
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park (And Beautiful Boise)
Don't forget about your plans for this Wednesday! Bingo with @txstarsringo starts at 6:00 p.m. at @Whitestonebeer. Then enjoy a few while watching the live game feed at 7:00 p.m! pic.twitter.com/DS6926fs8b— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) February 10, 2020
After completing a successful home stand, the Idaho Steelheads are hitting the road, too.
WEEKLY: The only road weekend of February comes this weekend in Toledo on the heels of a 3-1-0 record during the mini four-game home stretch.— Idaho Steelheads (@Steelheads) February 10, 2020
Guess we'll see "how they do it in Toledo" ♂️
DETAILS: https://t.co/GQQhZGyzkC | #FeelTheSteel pic.twitter.com/9HHXUT4eO2
It looks as if any sports team who wants to do Star Wars night will have to go through Liberty University now. Enjoy.