You may have expected the Stars to beat a struggling team on its second night of a back-to-back, but the value of the victory is in how the team has dragged itself out of a tough January and gotten stronger, says Mike Heika:
[T]he Stars have wrangled this stretch like a bear in the woods and lived to tell about it. They are in second place in the Western Conference and have a good chance to make the playoffs for just the second time in the past eight seasons. And, just maybe, they are better for the adversity.
“It was a grind, but we got the job done,” said captain Jamie Benn.
Head coach Lindy Ruff will take both the win and the opportunity to examine how his players delivered it:
“You don’t want to struggle through a game like this, but it hardens you,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “You realize how hard this league is, and how hard every play is. Some of this adversity tells you a lot about players, and you get to evaluate under the gun.”
Read the whole story at Heika’s place [SportsDayDFW]
Ruff was proud of how the Stars’ special teams kept the Flames off the board during a flurry of penalty kills – but he still wants those cleaned up.
Strader and Razor agree: Winning is hard, and you should be glad when you do.
And Razor elaborated on the importance of big play by big players – including the Captain, Jason Spezza and Antti Niemi – during this season’s 50th edition of The Emporium. He also salutes the All-Star Game-bound JaBenn, Tyler Seguin and Lindy Ruff with Mike Modano‘s beer.
The Stars are in negotiations to play in the brand-new T-Mobile Arena during Frozen Fury 2016, the Los Angeles Kings‘ preseason road tour in Las Vegas. Start looking for your hotel deals now. [Mayor’s Manor]
P.K. Subban scored a nifty goal from center ice, then immediately went to the penalty box for giving Brandon Dubinsky a so-there push during last night’s Montreal Canadiens–Columbus Blue Jackets game. [Puck Daddy]
Unfortunately for the Habs, that highlight-reel shot was only a momentary bright spot as they lost, again. [NBC Sports]
Mark Giordano reacts to the Buffalo Bills’ hire of Kathryn Smith as the NFL’s first full-time woman assistant coach by saying that sooner or later, the NHL will follow suit.
— theScore NHL (@theScoreNHL) January 24, 2016
— CBS Sports NHL (@CBSSportsNHL) January 25, 2016
You’re going to love how Barkov himself celebrated the news.
— theScore NHL (@theScoreNHL) January 26, 2016
Meanwhile, in UFA news, the Winnipeg Jets are no longer in extension talks with LW Andrew Ladd and have turned all their efforts to re-signing blueliner and hot trade target Dustin Byfuglien, says Josh Gold-Smith. [theScore]
And before you drop your jaw over what appears to be a below-market offer for Stamkos’ services, allow a top tax expert to explain why $8.5 million a year in Florida is worth more than $10 million a year in New York or Toronto. [Tampa Bay Times]
The legend is already one of the biggest attractions at this year’s ASG – but Allan Muir makes the case for a “Jagr Rule” that will give players over 40 an All-Star exemption.
It takes an incredibly concerted effort to keep an elite athlete in peak condition, but that commitment goes above and beyond for someone of Jagr’s age. Which is worth noting since he’s now the fifth-oldest NHL position player of all-time. And 82 games from October to mid-April is enough of a strain. Should he really be expected to give more?
— SI NHL (@SI_NHL) January 26, 2016
The ASG’s 3-on-3 format highlights offense, so John Kreiser has drawn up his fantasy 3-on-3 lineup for a decade that saw many of the most talented offensive players of all time.
— NHL (@NHL) January 25, 2016
Finally: At last, you can actually eat a Klingburger. (I know. Settle down.) Taylor has posted all the glorious details on the new John Klingberg culinary tribute, but here are a few beauty shots for you to linger over. Enjoy.
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) January 25, 2016