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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Pavelski Starts Season At A Torrid Scoring Pace

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It seems like happiness is just a thing called Joe. Plus, more on the Patrik Laine trade, the COVID battle outside the bubble, and more.

NHL: Nashville Predators at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Pavelski has history as a big-game player. His brilliant performance during the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs helped propel the Dallas Stars to the Final series. Now, as he begins his second season with the Victory Green Gang, the 36-year-old center appears to be extending that sharp upward scoring trajectory into a scorching early-season run.

It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise, writes The Athletic’s Saad Yousuf – but Pavelski’s hot streak is coming at an especially opportune time. Yousuf devotes much of his 20/20 wrap-up of the Stars - Nashville Predators series to Captain America’s dominance:

Last season, Pavelski had his lowest point total in any non-lockout season since his rookie year in 2006-07. He scored 31 points in 67 games in the regular season before picking things up dramatically in the playoffs, scoring 19 points in 26 games during the Stars’ run to the Stanley Cup Final. At the time, it seemed like it was classic Pavelski, showing up for the big games in the postseason. But perhaps it was a turning of the page, with chemistry finally clicking in Dallas after 13 years in San Jose.

“Definitely coming back during the bubble was something, we got off to a good start and worked on a few things,” Pavelski said. “Whether I’m more comfortable the second time around, it’s hard to say exactly. But I definitely have some confidence. I definitely have an idea of what we’re trying to do out there and things are clicking right now.”

That’s even more fortuitous now that Jamie Benn is a game-time decision. With the captain possibly out against the Detroit Red Wings, it looks as if Jason Dickinson will stay on the top line as the left wing for Roope Hintz and Denis Gurianov:

“I think it’s pretty simple with them; get them the puck and let them skate,” Dickinson said. “You give them the puck in the right areas, they’re going to be able to beat guys one-on-one. I got to play off of that and let them play their game and I’ll play my game of coming in later and being the more defensive-minded aspect of that line. I also can’t hold back with them. I’ve also got to be able to attack with them and not leave it all up to them.”

Dickinson is naturally a center and has made it clear that’s his preferred position. However, he’s one of the most versatile players on the Stars roster over the past two seasons and can fit in anywhere. He got a good run playing on the wing during the bubble when the Stars were bombarded with injuries to their forwards. Injuries once again have prompted Dickinson to the wing.

There’s more behind the paywall, including observations on Ty Dellandrea’s emergence and Anton Khudobin’s steadiness. [The Athletic DFW]


Stars Stuff

Pavs’ hotter-than-July performance against the Predators got the league’s attention.

Want to help the Dallas Stars Foundation’s Most Valuable Teacher win all-NHL honors? Click on Fondrae Townsend’s headshot at Future Goals’ Teacher of the Month page. [NHL]

Want to check out some photos from the weekend? Of course you do.

Around The Leagues

It was all quiet in the Earth 2 #MurderDeathKill Division last night – but the Central’s COVID problem has become everyone’s issue in a very real way.

How does the league battle the virus outside of the bubble environment? It begins with players holding each other accountable – and fighting off their own “COVID fatigue.”

The Winnipeg Jets’ morale-in-the-clubhouse problem has reared its head again, this time as more details behind the Patrik Laine trade emerge. [Iltalehti]

Will the Jets’ problem child become the Columbus Blue Jackets’ living legend? Matt Larkin ponders the question.

George Armstrong was one of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 100 greatest players of all time, and his Ojibway heritage made him one of the NHL’s first Indigenous players.

Finally

Yesterday was a big day for Rick Bowness. Happy birthday, coach!