Once upon a time, it was a fool’s errand to wonder why the Dallas Stars’ lineup would look like if Stephen Johns could get healthy again. Now Johns is back, and one could argue he’s better than ever:
He’s become a true partner with Miro Heiskanen, not just a part-time one. He’s killing penalties, and he’s scoring goals... Against the Ottawa Senators, he set a new career-high with 23:25 in 31 shifts – and, remember, this was the second night of a back-to-back.
Johns isn’t just getting back to old form; you could even make a case he’s better than he was before the injury, which is remarkable.
With Johns re-cementing himself into the lineup, the Stars’ have finally found the missing piece in their defensive Top 4. And it’s an opportunity that Johns will never take for granted:
Johns looks at all of this in a thankful matter. He’s missed so much time and lost a year of his career that it’s hard not to bring that type of perspective. Johns has said an NHL game will never be “just another NHL game” to him anymore, and it can be emotional talking about a career that was nearly lost completely.
You can read more from Sean Shapiro here.
ICYMI, Jason Robertson is back with the Texas Stars:
The NHL was not happy with Claude Julien’s remarks about the officials from the Montreal Canadiens’ recent game with Dallas:
Here’s what Razor has to say about the team’s most recent road trip:
"They've siphoned points out of the Great White North to the tune of 12 of a possible 16."@Razor5Hole bids adieu to Canada as the Stars wrapped up their season slate north of the border.#DALvsOTT | #GoStars pic.twitter.com/PpjghmFyOS— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) February 17, 2020
Around the League
Just days after scoring the first ever hat trick in an NHL outdoor game, Tyler Toffoli has been traded to the Vancouver Canucks:
The LA Kings have acquired Tim Schaller, prospect Tyler Madden, a second-round pick in 2020 and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2022 from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Tyler Toffoli. https://t.co/NKFJcITc6C— LA Kings (@LAKings) February 18, 2020
Of course, not all is sunshine and rainbows in Vancouver — the team will be without Brock Boeser for a few weeks:
Between this and the New Jersey Devils’ most recent moves, the NHL trade market is heating up. So who are the teams to keep an eye on?
Players are not happy with the NHL Department of Player Safety, and honestly who can blame them?
Finally, tonight marks a special occasion for Chris Phillips, who will have his jersey retired by the Ottawa Senators: