He may not be the flashiest player in the league, but Antoine Vermette is a big part of the Phoenix Coyotes, according to coach Dave Tippett.
“I look at a player like [Patrice Bergeron], what he does for Boston,” Tippett said ahead of tonight’s game in New Jersey. “Face-offs. Penalty kill. Power play. Can play against other teams’ top players. That’s the role we use [Vermette] in, and he’s been very good for us in that role.”
Despite all his defensive responsibilities — which include starting a high percentage of shifts in the defensive zone — Vermette has still managed to score 24 times, with 20 assists, this season. And he’s done it all for a manageable cap hit of $3.75 million, on a contract that runs through next season.
“Good center-men are hard to find,” said Tippett. “He’s a good player. Plays in all situations. He’s a good teammate. He’s fit in very well with our group.”
Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.