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Dallas Stars Daily Links: There Are NHL Defenders, And Then There’s Miro Heiskanen

Mike Heika suggests we just make that official right now. Plus, a couple of hard looks at the Thanksgiving Cutoff, the NHL’s pandemic plan for the Winter Olympics, and more.

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Miro Heiskanen shut down Connor McDavid on Tuesday night, and if you spent any time on Oilers Twitter, you’d think McJesus was playing the refs all evening.

But McDavid was no victim of non-calls, or even much of his own mistakes. One of the NHL’s leading scorers just hit a brick wall in the form of Heiskanen’s increasingly renowned stickwork.

Stars senior staff writer Mike Heika lays out in digital text what many Dallas Stars fans have been thinking – that as early as it is, as hard as it can be to judge history on the fly, Heiskanen is every bit as good as you think he is:

Heiskanen might be one of the best stick men in the NHL. Heck, he might even be the best. Who knows, he might be one of the best of all time - it’s tough to measure this stuff.

But if you ever wanted a display of how good the 22-year-old defenseman can be, it was Tuesday against the Edmonton Oilers and two-time Hart Trophy winner Connor McDavid. Heiskanen drew a lot of ice time against McDavid, and the speedy center was held off the scoresheet for the first time this season. That’s right, McDavid finished with no goals, no assists and three harmless shots on goal.

That’s how good Heiskanen was.

He is, in fact, good enough to beat the NHL’s best at his own game:

McDavid is pretty special himself with the stick and at one point had Heiskanen chasing the puck while he danced around by the goal line. A few minutes later, however, Heiskanen showed in open ice why he’s so special.

McDavid was bearing down in the offensive zone at full speed trying to create the kind of memorable highlight that has filled hockey shows for the past month. But just as it appeared McDavid might turn the corner, Heiskanen swept the puck away harmlessly to the boards and the shift pretty much ended there.

There’s more at Mike’s place, including some observations from Stars legend Jere Lehtinen – who, don’t forget, will be instrumental in helping Finland put together its Olympic roster. [Dallas Stars]


Stars Stuff

It’s game night! So don’t forget the slightly early start time.

As Jake Oettinger gets the confirmed start, The Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks points directly at the elephant in the room.

A victory tonight could go a long way toward setting the Stars on a playoffs-bound course. DBD’s David Castillo finds good and bad news in his new piece for D Magazine.

Let’s face it, this roster has one shot at the big prize. But the future could be a different story, especially if the Stars close the deal with John Klingberg.

Around The Leagues

The entire NHL took Turkey Day off, but there’s plenty of Black Friday action for the murderous Central Division:

David isn’t the only one who’s giving the Thanksgiving Cutoff a side-eye. Stephen Whyno examines factors that may have distorted early-season results across the NHL.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin continues his steady march up the all-time scoring charts, but this is another mark worth mentioning.

The Great 8 appears to be keeping it in perspective, though.

So who’s still waiting for Ovi’s game to collapse because he’s too old or too lazy or he doesn’t backcheck enough?

COVID-19 could still throw a wrench into the NHL’s plans to compete at the 2022 Winter Olympics. What happens if it does?

It’s here. Are you ready?

Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park

The Idaho Steelheads say Happy Black Friday.

So do the Texas Stars.

Meanwhile, Asher Rohm has the preview for this weekend’s series against the Manitoba Moose.

Finally

Anton Khudobin always wears quality cages, and Sylvie Marsolais is always there to help. Enjoy this preview of his new lid.