While the Dallas Stars have had their struggles as of late (such as home games, and playing the Vancouver Canucks), the regular season has been a net positive. They’re in the top three in the central division. Which means as long as they finish there they’ll be in the playoffs for consecutive seasons. Also many players are having solid years, and setting records. Such as a mark that was set by the league wide underrated, Miro Heiskanen.
#1 defenseman in Big D
Dallas is known for putting out one of the best defensive units across the league. A d core that (along with great goaltending) makes the team top five in goals allowed. This stellar unit has its number one guy leading the charge. It’s Miro Heiskanen, who has been the sure fire number one defenseman since the summer. Ever since John Klingberg left for the Anaheim Ducks, and now plays with the Minnesota Wild.
After Klingberg’s departure, Heiskanen has taken up more responsibilities on the ice. Most notably on offense, and quarterbacking the power play. Heiskanen also leads all Stars in time on ice per game. As well as top five on the team in points, and leads all defensemen.
Record set in style
In a game against the faces of the NHL, Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins the Stars went to work. Heiskanen had his prints on this dub. Notching an assist, and being named the third star of the game due to his effort on both ends of the ice.
It’s even more memorable to set a team record against the best of his generation in Sidney Crosby. Going up against Crosby, Evgeni Makin, and Jake Guenzel and his play helped the potent, fast skating Penguins to only two goals that night.
Still underrated, and still a complete player
Being underrated playing in Dallas is nothing new. Comes with the territory since 1993. However, if you provide results on a nightly basis that’s what really matters. Bemoaning biases in the NHL media is a job best for the fans, and guys like Heiskanen who get overlooked continue to lead their team past 82 games.
Photo credit: Tony Gutierrez/AP
In today’s NHL it’s the offensive defenseman who get applauded the most. While important, you still need guys in the lineup who can do the dirty work too. Such as back checking, blocking shots, hitting, and killing penalties. Heiskanen is one of the best two way defenseman in the game today. Who can make your sports center top ten, and do all the blue collar work that’s at the heart of his position.
Featured photo: Twitter app @DallasStars