Now, about last night: After getting a big win the hard way against the Vegas Golden Knights, is it finally time to believe the hype? Can the Victory Green Gang grab that 16th and final brass ring tonight?
The Athletic’s Saad Yousuf documented last night’s crucial win in his latest article. Jason Robertson, typically modest, had this to say about his two-goal night:
“For me, it’s just playing my game, playing the game they all preach me to do,” Robertson said. “I have the luxury of having elite players around me that allow me to do that. It’s just playing hockey, right? I have guys on my team who are very supportive of everyone and very encouraging. We have a lot of leaders in this locker room. I’m grateful for them.”...
“...I’m just trying to play hockey. I definitely couldn’t have gotten there without guys setting me up. Even (John) Klingberg (tonight), great find. It’s just playing hockey. Like I said, I have the luxury of being on one of the top lines of this year. You look at my other linemates, they’re putting up that amount of goals, too, so it’s a team effort.”
Yet for every easily confirmed value like Robo, there’s an equal and opposite controversy – like, say, the skills sequence:
The Stars’ shootout order went like this: Robertson, [Tyler] Seguin, [Joe] Pavelski, [Roope] Hintz, Radek Faksa, Vlad Namestnikov and [Miro] Heiskanen. Why did [head coach Rick] Bowness elect to go with Faksa after the expected top four instead of guys such as Heiskanen, Jamie Benn or Denis Gurianov?
“You try it,” Bowness said. “We told him what to expect, sometimes you’ve got to throw a surprise at them. It didn’t work. … You like to throw some guys out there, but they hadn’t played much in the last 10 minutes. Sometimes, man, you just — you throw Miro out there and he scores. You’re going to predict that? There’s no steadfast guy, he’s going to score or he’s the guy. You take some gambles sometimes. Anybody see (Jacob Peterson) score in that shootout goal when he did in Chicago? Takes some gambles.”
Saad has more behind the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]
But before you go, take a moment to relive this sequence between two draft classmates.
Remember that NHL Draft from five years ago?
In that case, you probably remember this, too.
Fun Fact: The ONLY time in Dallas Stars history the team has traded up in the 1st round of the draft to select a particular player was in 2017.— Bruce LeVine (@BruceLeVinePuck) April 27, 2022
The player selected was Jake Oettinger
So, is this guy your No. 1 postseason goaltender, or what?
Around The Leagues
You mean there were other games last night? Well, I s’pose....
- The Nashville Predators won a playoffs berth in spite of a 5-4 overtime defeat by the Calgary Flames – but the more ominous loss could be that of Juuse Saros. [On The Forecheck]
- A friendly reminder that you underestimate the Arizona Coyotes at your peril: They took down the Central’s No. 2 team, the Minnesota Wild, 5-3. [Five For Howling]
- And the Colorado Avalanche asserted their home-ice advantage over a close competitor by beating the St. Louis Blues 5-3. [Mile High Hockey]
About that Yotes win: The Antoine Roussel content is vintage.
check out the wheels on Rooster. pic.twitter.com/xHav8qwJeR— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) April 27, 2022
About that Preds loss: A serious, or even lingering, injury to their No. 1 netminder is potentially devastating for Smashville’s postseason.
Nashville Predators head coach John Hynes did not provide an update on Juuse Saros' status after the star goaltender left Tuesday's game against the Calgary Flames with an apparent injury.https://t.co/kj2dHjagsL— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 27, 2022
We interrupt this section for a quick summing-up by Greg Wyshynski:
Auston Matthews has hit another milestone.
Matthews, who snapped a five-game goal drought, is the first player to score 60 times in a campaign since Steven Stamkos in 2011-12 https://t.co/woHucQvxkC— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) April 27, 2022
And Tyler Seguin gets just a bit of Masterton Trophy love from Dan Rosen in his latest Over the Boards post.
Mailbag: Avalanche playoff chances, Flyers' coaching future https://t.co/wutQi9bdj3— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) April 27, 2022
In other news, let’s check in on Miro Heiskanen, Top 5 Defensive Defenseman.
Norris Trophy talk is usually dominated by elite offensive D. But what about the NHL’s best *defensive* blue liners?— Harman Dayal (@harmandayal2) April 27, 2022
Here’s the NHL’s best shutdown defensemen this season:https://t.co/INKtGgAtwK
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
We've officially clinched a spot in the 2022 Calder Cup Playoffs!— x - Texas Stars (@TexasStars) April 27, 2022
Check out the details for what's next!
That said, Stephen Meserve reminds us that regular-season records have consequences.
If you’ve been to a Stars game since 1996, you’ve probably seen Matt “May” Day in one awesome costume or another. Here’s how the team honored this superfan last night. Enjoy.