If you’d forgotten all about Sheldon Souray and his booming shot and offensive abilities as a defenseman you’d be excused. After getting bought out by the Oilers, he’s now thriving in Dallas and helping the Dallas Stars get off to a big start. Souray has a goal and four assists in the Stars’ first six games and Dallas has gone 5-1-0.
Not bad for a guy that the Oilers put in the AHL because they didn’t want him rubbing off on their young players.
While Souray is most known for his offense, he’s getting it done on both ends of the ice. Being a defenseman that’s kind of a big deal. Apparently being out of the NHL for more than a season hasn’t made Souray rusty at all. If anything else, Stars coach Glen Gulutzan tells Mark Stepneski of ESPN Dallas that it’s made Souray an even meaner guy for opponents to deal with.
Souray’s nasty side has always been there, but the key for him will be in keeping his fists in check. Souray’s lost more games in both the NHL and AHL the last few seasons thanks to hurting his hand in fights. The Stars’ success hinges on Souray continuing to do what he does at both ends of the ice whether it’s booming the puck at the net or stuffing opponents into the boards.
With the defensive problems the Oilers are having this season, you can’t help but wonder why things went as poorly there as they did. It’s obvious Souray can still play solid hockey, but the Stars are thankful to have him and potentially lead them to the playoffs.
Measure of revenge: Kings delay clinching efforts for Flames, Blues
Deep down, the Los Angeles Kings probably realize that their season will end on game 82. Still, they kept their slim playoff hopes alive on Wednesday night … and managed to spite a team they’re growing to hate.
OK, maybe the hate is almost totally focused upon Matthew Tkachuk, yet the disdain for that talented-but-tormenting rookie was palpable.
It didn’t feel like the Kings exacted physical revenge on Tkachuk, but beating his team 4-1 ranked as classic scoreboard vengeance. With that, the Calgary Flames (and by extension the St. Louis Blues) will need to wait to clinch a playoff berth.
Now, as much as tonight was about Tkachuk, the focus was also on a pugnacious player who once dazzled for the Flames: Jarome Iginla.
In what might be Iginla’s final visit to Calgary – at least as an active NHL player – he was one of the best players on the ice. His fitting curtain call included a “Gordie Howe hat trick” with a spirited fight, an assist and a goal.
It’s official: the NHL will hold preseason games in China before next season.
The league made the announcement on Wednesday night: the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks will play two exhibitions: one on Sept. 21 (Shanghai) and Sept. 23 (Beijing). How cool is that?
“It is a privilege and an honor for the L.A. Kings to represent the National Hockey League in China as part of these two games against the Vancouver Canucks,” Kings president Luc Robitaille said. “Growing the game of hockey is something we take great pride in and it is a big priority for our hockey club and AEG as a whole. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our players and our staff, and we are looking forward to the games taking place in two tremendous facilities in two remarkable cities.”
Blame it on injuries if you want, or emphasize the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall hot finish to the season. Either way, Chicago scorched the Pittsburgh Penguins by a score of 5-1, a contest that felt more or less over by the time the first period ended 4-0 in the Blackhawks’ favor.
The Blackhawks scored by committee on Wednesday, with Artemi Panarin (goal, assist) and Patrick Kane (two assists) being the headliners. Meanwhile, former Penguin Marian Hossa has quietly climbed to 25 goals on the season.
Meanwhile, the Penguins limped through this one and have now lost four consecutive games.
With this result, the Blackhawks look like close to a lock to win the Central Division title. Meanwhile, the Metro crown is virtually unthinkable for Pittsburgh, and the Penguins might also need to accept the likelihood that they may not enjoy home-ice advantage in the first round.
They’d probably accept that more easily if they can get healthier and get back on track. Wednesday was a little worrisome in those regards.