Dallas Stars Daily Links: Gurianov, Hintz The Life Of The Party As The Stars’ Fortunes Turn

The 2015 NHL Draft is starting to pay big bonuses, writes Sean Shapiro. Plus, this weekend’s after-action, a Predators’ sweater reveal, and more.

As the Dallas Stars’ season finally starts swinging into gear, Denis Gurianov and Roope Hintz are becoming the life of the party. The two draft classmates are bringing their AHL chemistry to the big club – and the big club is reaping the rewards.

Sean Shapiro took a moment in this weekend’s 20/20 to revisit the plan that brought the forwards together:

When the Stars drafted Gurianov and Hintz in 2015 in the first two rounds, there were visions of grandeur. The Stars had drafted a pair of fleet-footed Europeans, and as with every draft class, the organization had dreams of them turning into impact players at the same time for the NHL club.

Often, especially in Stars history, such dreams have fizzled out.

That looked like the case for Gurianov, who despite a strong connection with Hintz in the AHL two seasons ago had struggled to click in the NHL. Whispers of “bust” had gotten louder.

But after Hintz broke out last season, Gurianov has broken out in the past two weeks after getting a slight confidence adjustment in the AHL.

Even better, the Stars’ Finnish mafia continues to hold down the blue line. Esa Lindell seems to be adjusting decently to the full face shield that interferes with his peripheral vision:

[Lindell] played a career-high 30:20 Saturday and was on the ice for 8:28 of penalty kills. Miro Heiskanen played 25 minutes and scored an empty-netter from his own zone to make it 4-0 in the third period.

With Andrej Sekera still dealing with an injury and John Klingberg not overly trusted in the defensive zone, Lindell and Heiskanen have become workhorses in the toughest defensive situations.

There’s much more behind the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]

Stars Stuff

He saw the five-hole, he shot the five-hole. Sounds easy, right?...

Sportstoons is having fun rendering the Stars’ young guns.

Follow Roope Hintz to practice, including a special date in a satellite StarCenter.

Was Saturday night’s score predestined to be 4-1? Ask yourself this as you enjoy Dirk Nowitzki’s return to the AAC. [Dallas Stars]

Around The League(s)

#Death Notes

  • The Nashville Predators lost a 2-1 Saturday matinee to the New York Rangers, despite a heroic performance in net from Juuse Saros. [On The Forecheck]
  • The St. Louis Blues beat the Minnesota Wild 4-3 in OT, thanks in part to a successful goaltender-interference call that took back a Mikko Koivu goal. [Hockey Wilderness]
  • The Colorado Avalanche suffered another setback with a 3-0 shutout at the hands of the Arizona Coyotes. [Mile High Hockey]
  • The Winnipeg Jets were up, then way down, then pulled up again to net a 4-3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights in Sin City. [Arctic Ice Hockey]
  • Meanwhile, on the coast, the Chicago Blackhawks dropped a 4-3 OT decision to the Los Angeles Kings. [Second City Hockey]
  • But their Sunday overtime action went better, as a Patrick Kane goal pulled out a 3-2 Hawks win against the Anaheim Ducks. [Second City Hockey]/

Did you know there’s another team playing in the 2020 Winter Classic? Their sweater reveal took place over the weekend.

Milan Lucic is in trouble for punching Kole Sherwood during the Calgary Flames’ 3-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are in Sweden for the NHL Global Series, but they may have to make do without local hero Victor Hedman.

Scott Sabourin is on the way home from the hospital after a freak collision with David Backes, but the fear and sadness for both the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators are real.

This story will probably just remind you that rote fisticuffs in the NHL are best left in the past – but it’s also an interesting tribute to one of the sport’s great characters.

Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park

Blueliner Joel Hanley is back in Austin Metro as the Texas Stars prepare for their first-ever faceoff against the Colorado Eagles on Saturday.