Esa Lindell’s next big challenge comes in the form of Alex Ovechkin



Rookie Esa Lindell’s Success jersey cheap comes as no surprise to the Stars.

The 22 year old is among the best rookie defensemen in the NHL and the best overall rookie of the eight who have played for the Stars this season.

“If you say he has exceeded expectations, we might have set them too low,” coach Lindy Ruff said when asked if Lindell had done better than expected. “We thought he was going to be a really good player, and I think he’s proven that. Wherever you want to put those expectations, he’s been a steady performer throughout the whole year.”

Lindell ranks second on the Stars and third among all rookies, averaging 21:29 in ice time. He is third on the Stars and fifth among rookie defensemen at plus 7. He is fast becoming a key to the Stars’ future.

“He’s a good puck mover and a good skater with really good vision,” partner John Klingberg jersey cheap said. “He’s a smart guy, and he’s only going to get better. He’s getting experience now, and he understands the game better.”

Lindell on Monday will probably square off against Alex jersey cheap Ovechkin when the Stars play at Washington. Lindell said he enjoys that challenge.

“I think everyone wants to play against the best players and play the most minutes. That’s what you work for,” Lindell said. “If I’m doing that, then I think I’m doing my job.”

Ruff said he is leaning on Lindell to do more each game. Lindell has been moved to the first power play unit in recent games and has led the team in time on ice during a 4 2 0 run over the last six games. During that stretch, Lindell has been matched up against the likes of Sidney Crosby jersey cheap, John Tavares jersey cheap and Jaromir Jagr jersey cheap.

Ruff said that he hesitated to use Lindell in that role earlier in the season but that the native of Vantaa, Wholesale NHL Jerseys
Finland, has really adjusted after a season in the AHL. Ruff said he feels Lindell looks comfortable in the hectic pace of the NHL.

“When you first come up and you’re a little unsure, your gap is a little bad,” Ruff said. “Now, his gap is good and his feet look really good, and he can defend some of the best speed players in the league.”

Lindell said getting the extra time on ice makes him feel more relaxed.

“I think you get into a flow where you play, you sit, you play, you sit, it feels natural,” he said. “Maybe you don’t think too much when you play like that. I think you just play and feel good.”

And while Lindell has just 11 points (five goals, six assists) in 56 games, Ruff said he sees offensive potential. Lindell had 42 points (14 goals, 28 assists) in 73 games with the Texas Stars last season. He had 35 points (14 goals, 21 assists) in 57 games with Assat Pori the year before.

“Really, I think he’s got one of the quickest wrist shots,” Ruff said when he discussed why he wanted to move Lindell to the top power play. “The fact that a lot of times you’re under pressure, we’re just looking for a guy that can just move it and distribute it and shoot it real quick. I think he’s been one our better options, and he’s a Young jersey cheap guy we’d like to give a look at.”

“He’s shown a steady progress when it comes to defending and being involved in all aspects of the game,” Ruff said. “He’s the one guy who looks like he has really pushed through, and he’s shown he can be a big time player in the league.”.

what to make of NHLPA rejecting league’s Olympics pitch



Here are some of the highlights:

Question: We’re nearly a third through the season. Who is your Stars MVP? League MVP?

Heika: I think Tyler Seguin jersey cheap is hands down the team MVP. He has kept his scoring going at a time when the team really needs scoring. He also has kept Jamie Benn jersey cheap moving forward at a time when Benn’s numbers could have looked really bad. Runner up probably goes to Patrick Eaves jersey cheap jersey cheap.

For me, Carey Price jersey cheap is the league MVP. He might not even be the top candidate for the Vezina because of the work of Devan Dubnyk jersey cheap, but Price changes the Canadiens so much. They were out of the playoffs last season when he was hurt and have the best record in hockey when he is healthy. That, to me, says a lot about his value. If you have to have a skater, Connor McDavid or Sidney Crosby jersey cheap. If McDavid wins the scoring title by 20 (and he is on pace to do that), he’ll probably win the Hart running away. That’s how these things work.

Question: Are there any dominant teams in the NHL this season? Or is parity high?

Heika: Well, the real question is whether or not you can have a dominant team during the regular season. Dallas, St. Louis and Washington were really good last year during the regular season. All looked mortal in the playoffs.

I think Montreal, Chicago and Pittsburgh have looked dominant Cheap Jerseys from China
at times and are really tough to beat at home, but they aren’t heavy favorites the way New England (NFL) or Golden State (NBA) would be in the playoffs. The league’s parity is showing up mostly in the middle of the standings, as the division between playoff teams and non playoff teams is tiny. There are 25 teams with payrolls of $70 million or higher and the cap is $73 million, so that helps create parity.

That said, you would still take the top teams over the middle teams in the first round, so I guess that is as dominant as it gets for this league.

Question: What are your thoughts about the NHLPA rejecting the NHL’s offer to allow players to compete in the 2018 Olympics in return for an extension of the CBA?

Heika: It’s what they needed to do.

The league is seeing less and less benefit from the Olympics or from the other international tournaments. It wanted to make clear to the players, who love the international tournaments, that these things cost money and have financial implications.

Both sides made their point in the first step of the negotiations.

I think instead of using these tournaments as a negotiating ploy, the rejection will allow both sides to sit down and assess if the Olympics or the World Cup is a good idea. The reports from the World Cup, I believe, are that it was not a financial Success jersey cheap (and it was held in Canada where you have the best chance for financial Success jersey cheap), so what was the real benefit? Now, we’re not even 30 games into this season, and people are complaining about the compressed schedule causing injuries and hurting the quality of play. That has to spark a debate about whether it was worth it and whether they should just halt tournaments for a couple of years.

I know the players want the tournaments, and players like Alex jersey cheap Ovechkin say he will go no matter what, but I think if both the NHL and NHLPA have a serious discussion, the decision might be that both sides want a break from the Olympics.

Time to crown NHL award winners as playoffs loom

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