Anton Khudobin is, as that old Kodak tagline would have it, the gift that keeps on giving.
Having worn the sweater of five different NHL clubs and a double handful of other professional teams, the Kazakh Scorpion has a résumé that Deep Ellum’s own Traveling Man would envy. And everywhere he goes, he spreads his unique brand of joy.
NHL.com’s Russian correspondent reported this quote from Game 1 on Saturday night, and it’s already part of Khudobin lore:
The Athletic’s Saad Yousuf delved deeper into the enigma and majesty of Dobby’s presence. He came up with a near-bottomless cup of anecdotes. Here’s a bit on Anton’s essential character from Saskatoon Blades teammate Adam Geric:
He couldn’t care less if you were an All-Star or the fourth-line grinder or 16 years old or 20 years old, everybody on the team was his friend. It was very honest, very sincere. He was just always happy to be there, always happy to be part of your team, always happy to be around all of the guys.
One of Khudobin’s first Lone Star teammates – Tim Cook, who played with him on both the Texas Wildcatters and the Florida Everblades – summed up his appeal this way:
He would throw out like a funny, really dry comment, and everybody would die laughing because it’s a guy that hasn’t spoken in 15 minutes, and then he said something really funny with a Russian accent....
He taught me five words in Russian. Two of them are clean (hello and thank you) and the other three are curse words.
Yousuf has more. With Dobby, there’s always more.
If you’re expecting Game 2 to get a little nasty, well, so is Jamie Benn.
You may be wondering how rookie backup Jake Oettinger is doing right now. He’s describing the ride of his life in his own words at NHL.com.
And if you’ve wondered about that lapel pin Rick Bowness is always wearing, you might be stunned to learn its significance. Jackie Redmond of the NHL Network has the story.
#NovaScotiaStrong— Jackie Redmond (@Jackie_Redmond) September 21, 2020
You'll notice #GoStars head coach, Rick Bowness has been wearing a pin on his lapel this postseason.
That pin was made by his wife, Judy.
As she explains, it represents NS & honours the 22 victims of the mass shooting in April. @NHLNetwork | @DallasStars pic.twitter.com/vSBEIuq8sp
Elsewhere, The Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks talked with The Ticket about why he’s covering the Stars’ big run from home instead of in Edmonton.
Around The League(s)
It seems the Tampa Bay Lightning have joined the ranks of playoff teams who don’t know what just hit them. Can it continue?
Your best players have to be your best players. We hear that cliche all the time. But sometimes your role players have to come up big and that's exactly what the Dallas Stars got in the first game of the 2020 final.@THNKenCampbell has more:https://t.co/GzXVENZ8HR— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) September 20, 2020
Also from Ken Campbell: Joel Hanley is having a moment that’s been a long time coming.
Dallas Stars defenseman Joel Hanley picked the perfect time to score the first goal of his NHL career.— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) September 21, 2020
And the journey to that goal is one that is long and winding and full of life lessons.@THNKenCampbell shares the tale:https://t.co/XHK8sMQOes
As if you needed any more convincing that the Carolina Hurricanes should be your second-favorite team....
Ben Bishop’s former teammate and protégé wants to win it all, too. Here’s more about Andrei Vasilevskiy and his countdown to the Cup.
When Andrei Vasilevskiy won Vezina Trophy last year, it was supposed to be one of best nights of his career. But all he could talk about was his main goal: the Stanley Cup. Our big story on “Big Cat,” from his path, his off-ice life + what makes him elite https://t.co/pS5xkjCplC pic.twitter.com/DFayZbC0yV— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) September 21, 2020
Is Steven Stamkos the Bolts’ September Surprise? Not tonight, maybe not the next night, but soon...?
Steven Stamkos is "inching his way closer" to returning but probably won't play for the Lightning in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC SN, TVAS), coach Jon Cooper said. https://t.co/Z64Ma6xkLM— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) September 20, 2020
Darren Dreger on Alex Pietrangelo heading to free agency, Maple Leafs chances of signing him and more https://t.co/8Bm9WLUkDT— TSN 1050 Toronto (@TSN1050Radio) September 21, 2020
Red Peg Tees is a Dallas-area company DBD is supporting throughout the Stanley Cup Final. You can gear up with a treasure trove of playoffs-themed merch, including this awesome shirt commemorating the legend of Joel Kiviranta. Enjoy.