Dallas Stars Daily Links: Being Thankful, by (and for) Golly
A reflection upon what #33 has been during his tumultuous time in town. Other things: the Colorado Rockies of hockey live on, in art; the DBD game #2 is here for you; and Jordin Tootoo joins his eponymous team.
As the season gets all wound up like a toy car before being let loose on the kitchen floor Thursday night, it seems like a good time to stop and assess what exactly the Stars have. You're probably hearing lots of last-minute predictions, previews and analysis--and you'll be hearing more today as well--but the sticking point, when people aren't foaming at the mouth over Kari's preseason games, is the state of the Stars' oft-maligned cupboard of defensemen. That state is this: the Stars, if they were a baker, could not make a world-class cake like on that cake battles show with the cake mix they currently have in their cupboard. Maybe they could just whip up a nice angel food cake or something, though. Who knows, they might be the star of the office potluck tomorrow if they can find a new way to make an awesome angel food cake. But they will not be selling $45 birthday cakes, is what I am saying.
We know that Trevor Daley is going to be Daley again (go watch videos of his playoff goals right now). Jordie Benn keeps improving, but barring a massive leap or pratfall, he'll continue to be a very serviceable 2nd-pairing defender. Dillon has good potential, and if he can get up to speed quickly, we should be in for another fun season of watching the muscle-bound blueliner make a statement that he's a top defender on the Stars (as if we don't know that already). Nemeth and Oleksiak are starting with as oppositely numbered piles of house money as two players can have (don't gamble!), but time will tell us who they are when they rotate through the third pairing. Connauton, well, I could write a long, long time about Connauton, but it would be weird, and you'd quickly get angry at yourself for having spent twenty minutes exposing your retinas to blue light just for the purpose of counting how many times I use the word "opportunity." You'd also be hungry for cake at this point, and your mood would just be going down the tubes.
Sergei Gonchar is hurting. I hope he feels better very soon and returns to the team and scores 20 goals.
But Goose, he's the guy I want to look at a bit more. Here's something that you probably didn't know: who scored the fifth-most 5-on-5 points from defense in the NHL last season?
Surprise! It's Matt Niskanen. Whoops, that doesn't seem like a very fun thing to know about. But everyone knows that Niskanen was just riding the coattails of the Pittsburgh Superstar Cavalcade, so we'll just toss his numbers out the window. Bye, numbers! Speaking of numbers, how about $40.25 million/7 years? Those numbers will be around for a long time. Maybe up to seven years.
Goligoski is 12th on this list, though. He's ahead of Subban, Chara, Suter, McDonagh, Erik Johnson...I mean, those are decent players. Yeah, it's one season, and yeah, you'd love to see him light it up more on the power play (if he gets the chance, that is), but he produced last year. Given his size and given the shaky nature of the Dallas defensive picture, he's doing what you would ask of anyone in that situation, and doing it well.
Also, a goal and three assists in six playoff games last year. That's not quite Trevor Daley status, but still, you will take that all day long.
Yes, the trade still feels like GMJN1 might not have leveraged his position as well as he could have, but that's water under the bridge that no longer exists because the river got filled in and that creek is now a skate park where kids don't skate anymore. Mostly, they just vape and look at their smartphones while sitting around. That's how irrelevant the trade has become to who Goligoski is now. Also, those kids need some part-time jobs.
Mike Heika had a good piece on Gologiski yesterday that you should check out right here. In it, Goligoski confirmed that no, he does not lose sleep wondering if he was worth #18 and the custom car guy:
"I guess I’m just not wired that way, I can’t pay attention to that," Goligoski said. "I have to show up every day and put the work in and simply play the game. I know that sounds boring, but that’s how it works for me."
And, so far, it’s working beautifully. Goligoski is the Stars’ No. 1 defenseman. He probably would have filled that role the previous two seasons, but veteran Stephane Robidas was around, so Goligoski deferred to him. But with Robidas now in Toronto, and the Stars defense pushing a puck-possession game that fits the skill set of the 29-year-old from Grand Rapids, Minn., he is now the blueline bell cow. [DMN]
And having played over 24 minutes a night on average last year, it's tough to disagree. Goose hopefully won't need to soak up Mike Rowe minutes this year, but then again, Lindy Ruff may have no choice. The Stars have some green defensemen that need to ripen, but thankfully they already have one who has ripened just fine here in Dallas over the past three years.
So raise a glass, go read the 300+ comments on the original trade thread, and smack the person sitting next to you the next time they boo Goligoski. If you can't root for someone who found his value derided from day one of the trade, was scratched due to poor performance, then found another level and managed to hold more than his own, then that is too bad. Also, he is on the Stars!
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Wednesday linkaliciousness has arrived.
Who wants to go to a Stars game with your favorite people from Defending Big D? You do, of course. DBD is organizing its second group game of the season. It will be Saturday, January 3rd against the Minnesota Wild. Tickets are $55 each, and like our other games, we will be sitting in sections 120-122. Follow the link for more information or to purchase your tickets: [Tilt.com]
OH MY HECK: A real live GAME PREVIEW for the Stars. [CBS Sports]
Five questions about the Stars, answered by Heika. [DMN]
Here's the Stars' roster for opening night. Peverley and Gonchar are on different lists of "can't play," otherwise it's as we've expected. These players are all among the very best hockey players in the entire world. Remember that. [Stars]
Mike Heika runs down the players who are feeling run down thanks to a poorly timed influenza epidemic and so on. [DMN]
Dallas tickets are, on average, the 21st most expensive in the NHL. Here's hoping that's a massive bargain for the product we see this year. [The Hockey News]
Patrick Kane will be on Chicago's 2nd line next to Andrew Shaw and Brandon Saad Thursday night. At least, that's what the Q-stache says will happen. [The Hockey Writers]
New Jersey has signed Jordin Tootoo. Never forget that sucker punch on Robi, and the class-A job of Nashville's announcers in saying absolutely nothing critical of Tootoo. Way to elevate the perspective of your fan base, boys. [In Lou We Trust]
David Krejci will start the season on IR for Boston. Hey, do you think that kid they drafted #2 overall is ready to step up and absorb some of those minutes yet? [The Score]
The CHL has officially closed its figurative doors, as seven teams (including the familiar Allen Americans) have joined the ECHL. 100 Degree Hockey has the down low. [Hundred Degree Hockey]
Adrian Dater of the Denver Post was suspended for "using inappropriate language on Twitter." This is one of the many ways writing late at night can get you into trouble. Too bad journalists don't usually have a choice. [Puck Daddy]
Here's an article that made me grimace. It's basically an interview Pierre McGuire intertwined with a lament that we don't have Phil Simms, Terry Bradshaw or Magic Johnson equivalents in the hockey broadcast booth. Does hockey need more stars behind the microphone? I really hope most people wouldn't want name cachet over actual, you know, skill. Did I mention that this author decided that Pierre McGuire would be the authoritative source for this? [Toronto Sun]
I am going to just admit here that I have confused Ludwig Bystrom with Ludvig Karlsson once or twice this summer. Here's a tip: Bystrom is the really good one that everyone is talking about. Here he is headlining (!) the "hot list." [The Hockey News]
Seattle was actually really close to getting an NHL team. How close, you say? This close. Thiiiiis close. [Seattle Times]
Speaking of places where there is less hockey than there could be: Hockey By Design runs through the top five "dead" logos of the NHL. I like these, all of 'em. [Hockey by Design]
Here's a goal that Robidas scored last year. I love that happy hop at 0:45.