Dallas Stars Daily Links: Mike Ribeiro and James Neal Are Enjoying Nashville
Time to check in with some old friends wearing those ugly yellow sweaters. Also, Zack Kassian really wants to meet the famous Steve Ott, and Calgary defencemen get some props from lots of folks.
James Neal and Mike Ribeiro did not exactly leave Dallas amid a parade of grateful fans seeing them off to the train station at Petticoat Junction. But when both of these players were producing, it was something to see. Who will ever forget Neal's incredible forechecking or Ribeiro's sensational shootout aptitude? That is a rhetorical question.
When the Predators signed Ribeiro, he was seen as something of a reclamation project, having been recently bought out by Phoenix/Arizona as his former GM basically scribbled naughty pictures all over Ribeiro's hockey cards and passed them out during a school assembly. But in #63's short time in Nashville to date, things are going well. Like, really well: 3 goals, 3 assists, and a totally sustainable 33% shooting percentage (though Ribeiro usually has a pretty high one, you'll remember) in seven games. Not to mention the fact that the Preds are sitting atop the Central Division--only 2 points ahead of the, ahem, Dallas Stars. Yes, Ribeiro is feeling pretty all right right now:
"It's been great," the 34-year-old said Tuesday before facing his former teammates for the first time since his unceremonious departure. "Guys are supportive of me and the team, and it starts with the top of the organization and going down to the teammates. It's been great to come to the rink and work and really focus on my job."
"I know I'm a good person," Ribeiro said. "I always was a good person but like everyone, everyone has issues and a lot of us don't work with it and I had a chance to go work on myself and a lot of people should, too. So I'm really glad that it's out there, that I have teammates that know and they can help me with those problems. Every day it's a new day, and I take one day at a time." [Arizona Republic]
And as for the other former Star from Back in the Day, Neal is sitting at third on the team in points with 5 goals and...well, that's it, just five goals. I guess he never was much of a passer. But as a certain Left/Right winger in Washington will tell you, scoring the goals is most important thing, always.
As for homemaking, when he came to Nashville after being traded (much to his surprise, he says), Neal found a home this summer with, of all people, Rich Clune:
When Predators forward Mike Ribeiro thinks of scoring winger James Neal living with forward Rich Clune, it takes maybe half a second for him to compare them to a famous movie duo.
"Dumb and Dumber?" Ribeiro quipped.
"We’ve been doing a lot of cooking at home. Rich likes to eat real healthy, so it has been good. He has been taking good care of me," Neal said. "He has taken a liking to the city and embraced the city and he’s doing good things outside of hockey."
Overall this sort of routine was important for Neal. Not only did he have a better sense of the city, it lessened the blow of the deal. When he was traded, there were whispers and reports that Neal was not well liked in the Pittsburgh locker room, which bothered him – never mind the fact he was at a teammate’s wedding when the trade was announced. [Puck Daddy]
While some of us are still skeptical that Nashville's boat can stay afloat relying heavily on two pieces of Dallas sun-baked superglue and duct tape, there's one main factor that is really helping life in the Music City to be really great, just so, so great for them right now: Filip Forsberg, who is making a case that he can be the top center that Nashville needs to complement Shea Weber, Seth Jones and Pekka Rinne. And if Neal and Ribeiro get to enjoy something of a good-times rebirth while F.F. catapults to stardom? Well, that wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, would it? Of course it wouldn't be! So long as Dallas beats them in the playoffs.
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Saturday Links rhymes with Bat Urn Day, Finks.
The Stars' recap of last night's game, complete with video highlights, has been put on the internet, free for viewing. [Stars]
And it's always interesting to see things through the other side's lens. Here's the "goal" from last night that should have been blown dead as a hand pass with commentary by the Devils broadcasters. I'm still a little surprised so many people don't realize how hand passes are called after all this time. Skates hitting the puck don't count as playing the puck, folks. [NHL Video]
ICYMI files: A review of Nemeth's injury and the opportunity afforded to the other kids (except Connauton, apparently). [The Hockey Writers]
Erik Cole contributed a memorable GIF. Fun fact: Chasing Confetti is also an as-of-yet unfilmed movie sure to be nominated for best supporting actor when Julia Stiles returns to play Confetti Garlatto's best friend, Stevia Laynsk, a troubled and morose gas pump attendant who abandons her suburban life for a career in polka music, eventually saving Garlatto's life in a noble act of sacrificial accordion-playing. Are you still here? Okay, here's that Erik Cole thing. [SB Nation]
Mike Heika has a preview for the Islanders game just for you, faithful person that I am talking to directly right now. [DMN]
It doesn't sound like the lady who is now being referred to as Slava Voynov's wife will have a drastically different story to tell than was mentioned by Voynov's attorney prior. In other words, there may not be charges pressed here after all, but that's just a very preliminary observation at this point. [Puck Daddy]
Our friends at Arctic Ice Hockey are starting a series on fighting and the incentives for doing so. Should be great stuff. [AIH]
While our other friends at Mile High Hockey (we have lots of friends; kinda popular, y'know) are still holding their heads in their hands and sighing. Here is why. [MHH]
T.J. Brodie might be really good. [Puck Daddy]
Mark Giordano is definitely really good. [TSN]
The Oilers video at the end of this Down Goes Brown Grab Bag article column piece writeup is worth staying for. [Grantland]
Corey Perry: Hart candidate who is also just the literal worst. [The Hockey News]
Losing Chara for 4-6 weeks could spell the end of the "golden era" for Boston? Seems a bit over-dramatic to me. [CSNNE]
It's okay, though, Boston. Joe Morrow is coming to save you! Morrow, you may recall, came to Dallas from Pittsburgh in exchange for our own Morrow, then was subsequently dealt to Boston for #91. [NESN]
If you're curious what all the pregame hubub was about yesterday, here's a look at who Chico Resch is (NJ Devils color commentator who most fans absolutely love) and who he is not (one of the best Marx Brothers). [In Lou We Trust]
Barry Trotz is having none of Glenn Healy's criticism of the Great Eight. [Washington Post]
The MTS Centre crowd sang O, Canada last night. It was nice. [NHL Video]