Believe it or not, Dallas Stars standout Jamie Benn told ESPN’s Mark Stepneski that he’s “feeling fine, normal” after taking a jarring amount of abuse on Tuesday night. In fact, Stars coach Glen Gulutzan indicates that he won’t miss a game.
The headline hit was Shane Doan’s elbow, but Benn took an absolute beating from the Phoenix Coyotes. Some even wondered if the Coyotes were “head hunting” the first-time All-Star.
Just looking at the most bombastic blows after the Doan hit, defenseman Derek Morris clobbered him and Antoine Vermette landed a check that forced Benn to spend some time in the Stars’ tunnel, which the NBC camera crews caught in somewhat disturbing detail. (There might even be a collision or two that slipped under the radar; he seriously took a beating.)
That’s either not the case or Benn refuses to be sidelined during a crucial stretch for the Stars, who remain atop the Pacific Division but could very well miss the playoffs altogether if they slump badly.
It’s showings of toughness like this – not just his world class skills – that make the pending restricted free agent seem worth whatever he’ll receive in his next contract.
If he makes it that far, that is.