Dallas Stars Daily Links: Justin Dowling, Number 1 Center

It sounds a tad ridiculous, but he <em>is </em>centering the top line. Plus, Mike Babcock gets fired by Toronto, which star players carry their team the most, and more.

When Dallas Stars head coach Jim Montgomery decided to put Justin Dowling — whom up to that point was a regular healthy scratch — between Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin on the top line, many fans raised their eyebrows. But so far, the AHL veteran has been crushing it, with three goals and an assist in his last four games:

“He’s got a great attitude and he obviously earns everything he gets,” Benn said of Dowling. “It hasn’t been easy for him, but he definitely hasn’t given up. He puts in the hard work every day and he’s a great two-way player. He does a lot of great things out there, and he’s getting rewarded for it.”

Realistically speaking, Dowling will eventually cool down and move back down to the roster bubble. But in the meantime, he’s just going to enjoy playing with the two franchise cornerstones:

“They’re super easy to play with,” Dowling said. “They’re elite players, and you can see what they can do once they’re feeling it and they have some confidence going. I think you could plug anyone in right now and play with them. I’m fortunate enough to be the guy right now that’s playing with them, and I’m just going to roll with it as long as I can.”

You can read more from Mike Heika here.

Stars Stories

Man, this point streak sure has been fun, huh?

The Stars look to continue that streak tonight when they host the Winnipeg Jets today. Remember to bring Legos if you’re going to the game!

Not all periods are created equally, so it’s important to approach each one differently:

Around the League

We have our first coaching casualty of the season — Mike Babcock has been fired by the Toronto Maple Leafs:

Here’s what the coach himself had to say about the decision in an interview with Pierre Lebrun:

Here’s a nice look at perhaps the next big name in women’s hockey:

Can you imagine how bad the Edmonton Oilers would be without Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl?

Take note: licking is okay, spitting is not:

Regression isn’t always a negative thing — here’s some of the top bounce-back candidates from the season’s first quarter:

ITT — another reason for Minnesota Wild fans to be sad:

Finally, Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan will be taking a leave of absence for the near future: