The Dallas Stars are going to the Stanley Cup Final, and even the fans are still trying to figure out what to think of it. Between the hot sports takes and the ones that are just half-baked, you might think that the world turned upside down.
Savor the chaos, if that’s your jam, but it’s entirely possible that this is simply a moment for a team that’s uniquely ready for it. Mike Heika wonders aloud if the 2020 Stars really are That Team we’ve been waiting for in his latest post:
The Dallas Stars are not slow or small. In fact, they’re pretty darn talented by NHL standards. But they are not the favorites, and they are not the analytical darlings, and they’re not even a loveable underdog. They are simply a team that finds a way to win.
And maybe that is destiny.
Think about it, Heika suggests: In a year of almost unprecedented upheaval, in walks a team that’s lived and breathed upheaval almost every day since the 2019-20 season began. If it’s not their time, then whose?
I’ve said dozens of times on radio or the podcast that I hope the Stars realize what a great chance they have this season. [Anton] Khudobin can become a free agent in the summer, same with [Corey] Perry and Andrej Sekera and Mattias Janmark. [Rick] Bowness may or may not want to be the head coach going forward. Who knows what damage the NHL’s shut down has done to the team’s budget going forward and what limitations they might have?
So if you’re in that room, you had to have an idea that this weird year might be the one. And that’s kinda strange in itself.
There’s always more at Mike’s place. [Dallas Stars]
From the pregame video messages to Anton Khudobin’s final battle cry, here’s that hype video you’ve been looking for.
File under Evidence of Over-training: The power-play teaming of John Klingberg and Denis Gurianov created a right-left combo that destroyed the Vegas Golden Knights’ scouting.
By changing the handedness of the man at the point the Stars power play broke Vegas. How an adjustment by assistant coach Derek Laxdal set stage for Denis Gurianov’s OT winner. https://t.co/MbelcpWtis— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) September 16, 2020
You already know Miro Heiskanen is special. The Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks has put it into handy tweet form.
Miro Heiskanen has 22 points in 21 postseason games this year. Here is the complete list of defensemen with more points in a single playoffs. pic.twitter.com/etySJ2pKgw— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) September 17, 2020
Around The League(s)
Have you read this article? Did you all of a sudden realize that Dobby hasn’t actually been any good?
Teams don’t win the Stanley Cup with a goal deficit. Can the Dallas Stars change that? https://t.co/dsZIT8LGz6— FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) September 17, 2020
Or, like CW33 producer Tim Roberts, did you come to the conclusion that the writer doesn’t actually know anything about hockey and tweet-storm about it?
I don't rage share article much anymore, but holy cow this is the worst sports article I have ever read. Has anyone at @FiveThirtyEight watched a minute of the Dallas Stars this postseason?https://t.co/pOCjCL9par— Tim Roberts (@21stCenturyTim) September 16, 2020
Joel Kiviranta isn’t the only guy who’s found his light during the 2020 playoffs. Is Kevin Bieksa the Tony Romo of hockey?
Former Ducks and Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieska has made a splash as a between-periods analyst on the 'Hockey Night in Canada' intermission panel.@reallisa takes a closer look at the rise of the breakout media star of the 2020 NHL playoffs ⤵️ https://t.co/H8QNpHQxZw— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) September 16, 2020
Outside the bubble, actual trades are actually happening, and the Eric Staal - Marcus Johansson swap is a pretty big one. Matt Larkin brings the breakdown.
It looks like the Coyotes indeed plan to hire Bill Armstrong as their next GM. https://t.co/inmYtRyqkX— 98.7 Arizona Sports (@AZSports) September 16, 2020
This is a subscribers-only story, but the tweet thread provides the high points. Junior hockey takes another shot across the bow of its practices, and now the bigs are involved.
#StarExclusive: A proposed $825 million class-action claim alleges a conspiracy among the top professional and amateur hockey leagues to exploit dream-chasing teenage players with one-sided contracts containing abusive restrictions on their young careers. https://t.co/oMKfhSOOv6— Toronto Star (@TorontoStar) September 16, 2020
If you don’t follow the teams, follow the chirps. Playoff hockey is full of great quotes, and Alexander Radulov has a featured cameo in this compilation.
Playoff hockey has produced some memorable sound bites over the years, including this legendary chirp by Patrick Roy on Jeremy Roenick— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) September 17, 2020
Here’s 9 of the best in 90 seconds with Rob Pizzo: https://t.co/nuu9Dgys1h pic.twitter.com/9Ot40IBhR1
You can’t win them all. Especially if you’ve already won four. Enjoy.