For the Dallas Stars, the fact that they even made the playoffs in 2014 was a victory. Their AHL affiliates, the Texas Stars, had more ambitious goals.
For the second straight year, Texas finished atop the Western Conference standings and they have a 2-1 series lead over the St. John’s IceCaps in the Calder Cup Final. Dallas GM Jim Nill thinks it’s only a matter of time before Texas’ success rubs off on Dallas.
“Winning is contagious,” Nill said, per the Dallas Morning News. “We talk all the time about building a winning culture, and this is a big part of that.”
Nill believes in building through the draft and the importance of having a well-run AHL club to help develop that talent, which isn’t surprising given his background with the Detroit Red Wings. He also cited the proximity between the two Stars teams as an aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked.
“These players need to know you’re watching,” Nill said. “They need to know you’re watching when they do good things; they need to know you’re watching when they do bad things.”
The Stars’ AHL affiliate used to be in Iowa, but has played in Austin since the 2009-10 campaign. In the Texas Stars’ five-season history, they have made the playoffs four times and have advanced to the Calder Cup Final twice.
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day