So far this postseason, the Dallas Stars’ best defenseman has been without a doubt Miro Heiskanen. But in the young sophomore’s shadow lies another defenseman who has been putting up an equally impressive run: fellow No. 1 defenseman John Klingberg.
Klingberg is strong in transition, moving the puck with long stretch passes. He is aggressive in pinching down in the offensive zone to keep possessions alive. Those traits have their drawbacks, particularly turnovers, but are a big net positive for the Stars.
Klingberg’s fingerprints have been all over the Stars’ success since the beginning of the playoffs. Many of the Stars’ game-winning or game-tying goals have originated from his stick, whether it was a deflection or off of the rebound:
“I think he’s one of the best guys in the league at just walking the blue line, finding that space and being able to attack it,” defenseman Jamie Oleksiak said. “I think he’s really shifty, and I think it’s been a huge strength in his game. You saw last night that created that big scoring opportunity for Perry. He’s always been really good at it, and obviously, it’s shining this playoffs.”
You can read more from Matthew DeFranks here.
With injuries decimating the Stars’ roster, key performances from their extra forwards has been critical this postseason:
It’s not just success in the NHL that’s important — both the Stars and the Tampa Bay Lightning have had success with their AHL squads, and that player experience is paying off:
Deep AHL playoff runs for Stars, Lightning paying off in the Stanley Cup Final https://t.co/b0j3vmu5lX— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) September 28, 2020
While not every Stars fan has warmed up to Corey Perry, one things is for certain — he’s made a positive impact this postseason:
An embarrassing end in Anaheim. A broken foot. The Winter Classic walk of shame. The Stanley Cup Playoff heroism (and crotch-spearing villainy).— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) September 28, 2020
It's been quite a ride for @DallasStars forward Corey Perry. My piece on the guy you love to hate. #NHL https://t.co/uFxws6yoUP
Friendly reminder that Game 6 is tonight, and no one will judge you if you feel sick to your stomach:
Around the League
This shouldn’t be surprising, but Steven Stamkos has officially been ruled out for the rest of the playoffs:
"To be honest, I didn't think he was playing at all in these playoffs. I don't think any of us did. So, he gave us 2:47 of brilliant hockey. That's a phenomenal story." https://t.co/NrHbYE0EwG— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) September 27, 2020
Speaking of Stamkos, remember when he almost left the Lightning in free agency? Down Goes Brown examines various key moments in the formation of the current Tampa Bay squad:
New: The Lightning are on the verge of a Cup that might feel like it was inevitable all along. But it wasn't, and I looked back at eight times when building this powerhouse could have gone bad (and who could learn from it now). https://t.co/SirKAw6J1V pic.twitter.com/Zckq1u2Wcf— Down Goes Brown (@DownGoesBrown) September 28, 2020
I, for one, am all for having Germany slowly becoming a hockey powerhouse:
Finally, I feel as if the Stars broke the Calgary Flames and sorry not sorry:
If @NHLFlames GM Brad Treliving agrees with the ever-growing belief in Calgary that it’s time for Johnny Gaudreau to be traded, could it happen next week?@EricFrancis breaks down the state of affairs in Calgary heading into the 2020 NHL Draft ⤵️https://t.co/EvfDK0XQmG— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) September 28, 2020