Joseph James Pavelski wasn’t supposed to become an international superhero of hockey. As the 207th pick in the 2003 NHL Draft, he might have been able to count himself lucky to make the show at all.
But he’s called true believers to his side from the beginning, and he’s exceeded expectations even as they’ve grown exponentially. The Athletic’s Saad Yousuf devoted his latest article to the ongoing saga of the man they call Captain America, starting with his origin story as a fresh-faced San Jose Sharks prospect:
In Pavelski’s first development camp with the Sharks, coaches pulled [head athletic trainer Ray] Tufts aside and told him to keep an eye on Pavelski. It was a rare occurrence, Tufts said, especially for a late-round draft pick who was undersized and not a particularly great skater. On and off the ice, though, Pavelski had a charm about him that permeated its way throughout the organization. That development camp wasn’t a deceptive good first impression from Pavelski; it was the first ray of sunshine preceding a majestic sunrise.
“I saw him the other day and then my wife and I were chatting,” Tufts said. “He just became this Superman for our team.”
As the Stars’ leading scorer for the second straight season, Pavelski is also setting an example even as he’s setting records:
Being 37 years old or a 16-year NHL veteran doesn’t automatically qualify somebody to be a leader. In the Stars locker room though, Pavelski’s voice is respected.
“On the ice, he’s a great player but off the ice, the routines, the habits and just maintaining everything and learning from what he’s saying in the locker room,” [forward Jason] Robertson said. “I think the biggest thing is him being one of, if not the most, vocal leaders on the team. Obviously, the other guys are there but he has a big voice and he commands the room. Whenever he’s speaking, everyone pays attention because he’s earned that respect and everyone has that respect for him. As a younger guy, it’s something you look up to.”
There’s much, much more behind the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]
Can the Stars change who they are? If they want to do “whatever it takes” to get out of Round 1, they’ll have to, as Mike Heika points out.
Fully aware of what has to be done in game 6, the Stars look to feed off the home crowd and bring momentum and a full 60-minute effort into the do-or-die matchup.— x - Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) May 13, 2022
: https://t.co/qVNosFpHFU#OneStateOneTeam | #TexasHockey pic.twitter.com/ATJaft4iGo
We can’t all be at American Airlines Center tonight, but at least some of us can watch what happens.
Around The Leagues
About Last Night...In Playoffs Action
- The Boston Bruins forced a Metropolitan Division Game 7 with a 5-2 thumping of the Carolina Hurricanes in TD Garden. [Stanley Cup Of Chowder]
- The Atlantic Division is going to Game 7, too, as the Tampa Bay Lightning got the win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime, 4-3. [Pension Plan Puppets]
- Meanwhile, in the #MurderDeathKill Division, the St. Louis Blues ended the series in six with a 5-1 takedown of the Minnesota Wild. [St. Louis Game Time]
- And in the Pacific Division, the Edmonton Oilers lived to play Game 7 after defeating the Los Angeles Kings 4-2. [Copper And Blue]
This may not have been the very last thing the Pittsburgh Penguins needed today, but it’s probably close.
The Hart Trophy finalists are out, and none are that much of a surprise, unless you count a goalie making it in at all.
Matthews, McDavid and Shesterkin are all in the running for the NHL's most valuable player award https://t.co/PKcWknBzge— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) May 12, 2022
Is this a good time to mention that the Stanley Cup playoffs aren’t the only big games being played right now? The IIHF Worlds opened today, and prospect watchers rejoiced.
That drum line, though.
Well, in that case....
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
The Texas Stars are supporting the home team in more ways than one.
Can the Stars win an elimination game on home ice? We’ll soon find out.