Dallas Stars Daily Links: Tyler Seguin Enjoying Return to Prague for IIHF World Championships
Seguin is finding Europe to be a pretty nice place, although it's no Stanley Cup Playoffs. Also, Brandon Prust is pretty miffed at Brad Watson, and Ovechkin is just the absolutely best goal-scorer ever; you should write him fifty fan letters.
Can you guess which arena Tyler Seguin scored his first NHL goal in? Go on, guess. WRONG, YOU ARE ALL WRONG. In fact, Seguin scored his first goal against the Coyotes...in Prague. Yes, turns out Seguin was on the Bruins way back when 1) they were actually good, and 2) the NHL decided that Europe wasn't that excited about hockey, so why not play a couple of games there to really amp up interest!
Seguin returned to the scene of his first breaking-and-entering (of the goal-line plane) last week for the IIHF Worlds at Jim Nill's behest, and so far things are going pretty well. How well? This well:
[D]espite the Stars scoring 261 goals, second-best in the League, they didn't make the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Seguin accepted an offer to play for Canada at the Worlds.
"I did a lot of research on this tournament. I know it's pretty big over here," he said. "Back home it's usually all about the playoffs. But when you have a chance to represent your country, you can't say no. I definitely wanted to experience that this year. I'm happy to be here and I'm excited about this tournament."
The excitement could be seen Friday in the first game against Latvia, which Canada won 6-1 after jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first period. Seguin didn't score, but he skated well on the second line with Claude Giroux (Philadelphia Flyers) and Tyler Ennis (Buffalo Sabres) and seemed to enjoy the extra room on the bigger international ice surface.
"It's definitely an adjustment," he said. "When we played the exhibition game against Austria, you could see you kind of forgot where all those different spots were. But I used to play in Switzerland for a few months with Patrick Kane in Biel, I had great time and I loved playing on that ice. I'm definitely a skater and that's one of my biggest strengths, so I enjoy it and I like playing wing on this ice."
Canada wants to bring home gold from "The Golden City" of Prague and its roster with eight members of the 2014 Sochi Olympics team and big names like Stars teammate Jason Spezza, Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins), Taylor Hall (Edmonton Oilers), Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche) and Giroux looks like it can make that happen for the first time since 2007.
"We came here to get gold," Seguin said. "I think we have a very good lineup on paper. You can have bunch of star players, but it's about how you're going to mix it together and how is this going to click. It's not too much about individuals, but about all of us here."
Again, I don't know exactly how much better a player will be for having played international hockey on a large rink against a bunch of inferior teams, but hockey is hockey is hockey, and playing with a bunch of really good players is the best way to improve an already really good level of ability to new heights. We'll have more coverage of the Champeenship, but it's good to know that Seguin and the rest of Canada's ridiculous team are not going to be sleepwalking through the tournament. That would be dangerous, after all.
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Have you heard of the "say 'rabbit' on the first day of the month" thing? I just discovered that it wasn't only one of my friends' families who did this; it is in fact a widespread...thing.
Nice piece on Esa Lindell's play at Worlds thus far. He is shooting the puck a lot, which is probably good. (tip o' the Darth Vader helmet to commenter denniso.) [IIHF]
Here is a nice slideshow that shows slides of Stars players's contract statuses this summer. [DMN]
Jack Campbell is pretty stoked about joining team USA for #IIHFpalooza before they get inevitably obliterated by the stacked Canada squad. He might even start today! [Wrong Side of the Red Line]
Devan Dubnyk's sorcery is no match for the Hawks wizardry. Hossa is amazing, Kane is extremely good. [NHL]
The Montreal Canadiens felt a bit jobbed last night, but they also didn't really do well on the job (or off it), surrendering 4 PPG to Tampa Bay en route to losing their second straight home game to the Bolts. Bad start, Habs. [NHL]
Oh, that game was also pretty eventful in non-goal matters as well. Brandon Prust had some...less than complimentary things to say about Brad Watson, earning himself a for-sure fine. Hey, Watson was one of the refs for the game 7 abomination penalty parade against Vancouver back in 2007, but probably that is not relevant here. [Habs Eyes on the Prize]
...Of course, it's possible that Prust was just annoyed that he lost an elbow pad after chucking it at the Tampa bench only to have Stamkos relay it into the crowd. [SB Nation]
The Ducks and the Flames series: an exercise in "what would happen if like the 24th-best team in the league made it to the second round of the playoffs somehow?" [NHL]
If you didn't see Ovechkin's goal on Saturday, then you didn't see him rip a wrister from his knees that is faster than any slapshot I was ever able to produce. Good gravy train with biscuit wheels, Batman. [NHL]
Also, the Caps are marketing dead presidents now. Anything for a buck, you bunch of sickos, right? [RMNB]
Don't forget to vote against the ugliest goalie masks of the playoffs! [Hockey by Design]
If you somehow haven't seen this incredible chart showing the timeline of every single logo in NHL history, go check it out right now on your microwave or coffee pot LCD or whatever you have handy. [Icethetics]
Finally, do you know how hard it is to play soccer in ice skates? It is very hard to play soccer in ice skates:
GIF: Slo-mo of that earlier failed attempt to kick the puck out of the zone by Stajan (s/t @Puckstar_!) pic.twitter.com/eqmkrJBrop— Stephanie Vail (@myregularface) May 4, 2015