Oct 27, 2011, 2:58 PM EDT
There’s an interesting piece from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News (sorry, subscription only) about the similarities between the red-hot Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers, who will face St. Louis in Game 6 of the World Series this evening.
With the state of Texas wrapped up in Ranger-mania, it’s not surprising the local hockey team has followed suit.
So when Heika suggests the hockey team somewhat mirrors the baseball team — albeit during Dallas’ recent 2-1 shootout win over Phoenix — it’s intriguing.
If a young team wanted to shape itself in the image of another organization, the Texas Rangers wouldn’t be a bad role model.
After all, a deep lineup that mixes youth and experience seems like a good idea. So does a coach who connects with his players and builds chemistry. The result can be a squad on which any player can be a hero on any given night.
That’s kind of what happened with the Stars on Tuesday. Led by new coach Glen Gulutzan and an interesting group of players tossed together by general manager Joe Nieuwendyk in the off-season, Dallas showed in a 2-1 shootout win over the Phoenix Coyotes that it has playmakers throughout the lineup.
How about Adam Burish, for example? The gritty, energetic forward had been moved to the fourth line in recent games and watched as his role was reduced slightly. But when the team needed a jolt in the third period, Gulutzan moved him up to the top line with Mike Ribeiro and Brenden Morrow, and he produced, scoring the tying goal with 1:01 remaining in regulation.
You could almost say he played the David Murphy role, a regular contributor stepping up when called upon to do just a little more.
The piece goes on to compare several other:
– Trevor Daley is Mitch Moreland (both unlikely heroes — Daley scored the shootout winner against Phoenix, Moreland homered out of the No. 9 slot.)
– Michael Ryder is Michael Young (both were bumped down the lineup.)
– Jamie Benn is Ian Kinsler (both provided consistent defense.)
– Sheldon Souray is Mike Napoli (both recently-acquired fan favorites.)
– Kari Lehtonen is the bullpen (both close the door.)
Heika also points out that Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk and Rangers GM Jon Daniels both went to Cornell. And remember when Nolan Ryan dummied Robin Ventura? That was straight out of a hockey brawl. OMG, THE SIMILARITIES ARE UNCANNY.
The Stars deserve a lot of credit for even being in this type of conversation. For starters, they’re bankrupt. They have the league’s lowest payroll and a head coach nobody’s ever heard of. After losing Brad Richards, their big free agent signings were a guy that had been in the AHL for a year (Souray) and Boston’s resident whipping boy (Ryder). Everybody figured they’d be a bottom-five team in the West — yet here they sit, tied with Washington for the second-most points in the NHL.
- Wild hoping last change can help turn the tide versus Avs 0
- Wild changes: Kuemper starts, Brodziak sits, Heatley draws in 0
- No hearing scheduled for Richards after Couture spear 6
- Kings’ Dustin Brown: ‘We got our [expletives] kicked’ 14
- Feeding frenzy: Sharks devour Kings to take 2-0 series lead 23
- Canadiens push Lightning to brink of elimination with 3-2 win 31
- WATCH LIVE: Los Angeles Kings at San Jose Sharks (Game 2) 0
- Bruins handle Red Wings 4-1, tie series 1-1 41
- Flyers overcome two-goal deficit to finally win at MSG 68
- NHL suspends Seabrook three games for charging into Backes 91
- Video: Seabrook ejected for charging Backes; will face hearing (update) (152)
- Video: Lucic spears DeKeyser from behind (116)
- Flyers want to ‘punish’ McDonagh (113)
- Bad luck strikes twice: Lightning goal waved off, Stamkos takes knee to head (111)
- That’s a raise: Flyers sign MacDonald to six-year, $30 million extension (91)