It’s easy to see how important Miro Heiskanen is to the Dallas Stars right now. Yet how important will he turn out to be when measured against the franchise’s all-time greats?
Stars senior staff writer Mike Heika talked to some of the team’s most storied blueliners to learn more about what Heiskanen does right – i.e., more or less everything – and how he’s helping solidify the Stars’ increasingly implacable defensive corps.
Sergei Zubov is rightly heralded as the greatest defender in Stars history. He can clearly articulate the stuff of greatness Heiskanen carries, as well:
“I do think the thought process of the game is different for players like him,” Zubov said. “It slows down, you see things ahead of time. I can see that in him. His instincts are great and so a lot of things just happen for him.”...
“When you’re in that position and you have the puck a lot, then you do study things like when the players are changing or how do they like to defend, because you want to control the flow of the game and you want to make smart plays and take advantage of their errors,” Zubov said. “So you think about the length of the shift for yourself or your teammates, you think about who is on the ice. Part of that is coaching, and part of that is just your own thinking about, `How can I do this better?’”
Craig Ludwig has been keeping a close eye on Heiskanen’s playoffs performances – not just for what he’s already doing, but what it shows about his potential:
“It’s funny, that I was saying to myself watching him, `Go more, take more chances.’” Ludwig said. “You don’t usually do that with a young defenseman, but he already had a good understanding of what position he played, so he understood how far to go. To me, he always has made decisions knowing that he’s a defenseman and his first job is help keep the puck out of the net. When you have that and have an offensive flare, that’s the perfect mix.”
There’s more at Mike’s place. [Dallas Stars]
Broadcaster/legend Daryl Reaugh has won himself a Lone Star Emmy, and Jamie Benn invoked a classic Razor-ism in his congratulatory message.
Mastodonic (ˌmæstəˈdɒnɪk)— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) September 23, 2020
• very large and powerful
It was only right for @jamiebenn14 to break out a @Razor5Hole-like vocabulary word. Congrats on the @LoneStarEMMY, Razor! #GoStars
There’s more good news where that came from: Stars GIF-meister Jeff Toates also won a Lone Star Emmy for his video journalism.
2 weeks ago, I did this story on @Toates1. Good thing I did it then, idk if I'd be able to get a hold of him anymore!— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) September 23, 2020
Rick Bowness: "We have a new celebrity... Jeff Toates."
‘Part of the team’: How Jeff Toates is documenting a historic Stars playoff run https://t.co/ANYrpdwyMv https://t.co/dkDB2BCuxF
NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti spends a lot of time covering the Tampa Bay Lightning, but this recent article covers some familiar ground regarding Tyler Seguin.
With the Stars and the Lightning even in the best-of-7 Stanley Cup Final entering Game 3 on Wednesday, Tyler Seguin's scoring drought is very much in the spotlight for Dallas, @TomGulittiNHL writes.https://t.co/bweURBr47I— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) September 23, 2020
They call him Captain America, but seriously, Joe Pavelski is some sort of superhero.
Good Guy Joe Pavelski making sure the gate is always open before the game so Dobby can march right onto the ice. #StanleyCup | #NHLonSN pic.twitter.com/550BXvQCXO— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) September 22, 2020
Red Peg Tees, a Dallas-area company, has your playoff gear covered – including everyone’s favorite Anton Khudobin quote (for now).
Around The League(s)
So how will the NHL see to it that the “COVID Cup” makes its rounds safely? Pierre LeBrun has some details.
According to a league source, current plan is for the Cup to stay in winning team’s local market for the duration of the off-season. Player and club personnel days with the Cup will all be in-market, subject to enhanced safety protocols. https://t.co/GoARxCHVl6— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) September 22, 2020
The Tampa Bay Lightning have a Texas connection of their own – Blake Coleman, pride of the Dallas Stars Elite program.
In 1999 he stayed up past his bedtime and listened to the radio as Brett Hull scored in OT. Now as Plano’s Blake Coleman faces Stars in Stanley Cup, either way, Texas wins. https://t.co/0NHjEA5cSb— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) September 23, 2020
Guess who was one of the first people to congratulate Leon Draisaitl on his Hart Trophy? Dirk Nowitzki is just that kind of guy.
"I wanted to be like him. I wanted to achieve what he achieved. If I do half of what he's achieved, I'll be a very happy man."— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) September 22, 2020
Legendary German @NBA player @swish41 was one of the first people to congratulate Leon last night.#NHLAwards | #LetsGoOilers https://t.co/EBX6dAnG8N
This is usually the time of year when we’re abounding in hype videos about “playing through pain.” What does the sport cost its players? TSN is taking a look.
Hockey players are celebrated for their willingness to play through injury no matter the cost.— TSN (@TSN_Sports) September 21, 2020
Tuesday on a special edition of That's Hockey, TSN presents The Problem of Pain, a year-long investigation into painkillers and the culture of pain in the NHL. @rwesthead pic.twitter.com/Lmle0It7IB
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
Can the feeder leagues do the hundreds of things on and off the ice that pandemic play will require? Stephen Meserve offers a sobering opinion piece on why the coming AHL season may just...not happen.
The AHL's 20-21 Season Becomes Less Likely By the Day https://t.co/XOTLwn4ble #ahl pic.twitter.com/AMHskIMSB0— 100 Degree Hockey (@100degreehockey) September 16, 2020
And if you had any doubts about how much the Texas Stars and other AHL teams have done to build this year’s Cup final , take a look at this story and infographic.
The 2020 #StanleyCup Final will be a battle of two organizations with deep development roots in the AHL.— AHL (@TheAHL) September 18, 2020
Details: https://t.co/KXR17zrodl#AHLGrads | @SyracuseCrunch | @TexasStars pic.twitter.com/rKitfdaOZE
Ralph Strangis was such a huge part of Dallas’ 1999 Cup run. Now he’s in a fight of a different kind. Send some love his way.
This is stunning. And Scary. And in this joyous time for all of us who love @dallasstars, It's time to circle the wagons for @RalphStrangis and let him know we have his back.https://t.co/RqQNwbhFLU— Chuck Cooperstein (@coopmavs) September 22, 2020