2/4/2018 – A Hockey Rink is a Hockey Rink and a Game is a Game

I think that quote might be the perfect way to describe the Dallas Stars under Ken Hitchcock. Kari Lehtonen is a poet.

The Stars flicked a cigarette out the window of their T-bird going 30 miles an hour early in the 2nd period and quickly sped up to 70 and got the hell away from the scene of the crime as the rapidly spreading fire they started made the entire Minnesota Wild forest submit to the inevitable quickly in a 6-1 win.

Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Alexander Radulov are simply too much for any team to defend. I wrote about this earlier in the year at WFAA.com, but watching the Pittsburgh Penguins still makes you wonder if splitting all three of them up would be beneficial long term. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Phil Kessel are all on different lines and dominating. They pose matchup threats that the Stars can’t recreate with all three guys on the same line.

Then again I don’t think it’s possible to defend them. Here is Seguin’s 2nd period goal off a feed from Benn. Look at how open Seguin gets.

Seguin

Two Wild defenders attach themselves to Radulov and Benn. Mike Reilly is the defenseman in the same county as Seguin. If you watch that video closely you’ll notice that at no point does he even look at Seguin. The entire time he’s watching the puck, then sticks his stick out to block the pass, and finally watches the puck go in his net.

It’s hard to complain when things are working, but I do wonder if they would be a better playoff team with one alpha on each of the top three lines. Either way, a 6-1 win is good.

***
https://twitter.com/SportsSturm/status/960004855606792192

I mentioned this on Twitter, but I would have been more surprised to not see Jason Spezza anywhere near this list than to see John Klingberg or Alexander Radulov leading it.  Of those top seven guys five were either drafted by the Stars or made their NHL debut with the club. Only Radulov was a free agent signing. Tyler Seguin was picked up in a trade using players drafted and developed by the team.

Mattias Janmark is playing at a 45 point pace. Radek Faksa is on a 38 point 82 game pace. Since the lockout the only Stars who have been drafted and/or developed by the Stars to eclipse 45 are Benn, Klingberg, and Loui Eriksson. 38 has been eclipsed by Steve Ott and Trevor Daley also.

***

Ken Hitchcock On Retro Night:

“I love those sweaters. The part I like is that when we wear those sweaters our team looks really big. We looked like a football team in warm-ups which, to me, is intimidating. It just reminds you of the good old days. It’s good to reminisce but I really like those sweaters.”

Fortunately that football team looked more like the New England Patriots than the oddly Cleveland Brown-looking Wild. Dallas Stars Poet Laureate Lehtonen put it best. A game is a game, but beating the hell out of a division mate is pretty choice.

Hey, click these
2/3/18 – The Conservative NHL and Mooterus Culture
2/2/18 – A New Hope

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