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Making Dallas Even Better

Three Canadian hockey players that neither I nor photographer Jonathan Nackstrand could correctly identify. (AFP/Jonathan Nackstrand/Getty Images)

Will Jamie Benn’s Gold-Medal Play Lead to More Glory In Dallas?

Team Canada didn’t want Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn this summer, leaving him off the squad it took to orientation camp in Calgary. And, I know I’m oversimplifying here, that’s why Benn ended up as one of the heroes of the team’s run to a gold medal in Sochi. The snub prompted him to dig in and earn his way onto the team — force his way, really — with 24 points in the first 24 games of the season; he was added to the team in January. It was a strange decision to leave him off Team Canada to begin with, since he’s one of the brightest young talents in the NHL. But that only makes it a better plot point when they finish the super-polite, made-for-CBC movie about these guys.

And Benn was crucial to Team Canada’s success. He scored the game-winning goal in Canada’s first win, over Norway. And he scored the only goal in the win (BOOOOOOOO!) over the United States to propel the team to the gold-medal game against Sweden. He’s probably the most-talked about Canadian at the moment, until Toronto mayor Rob Ford’s hip-hop production career takes off.

Now the question Dallasites care about, and I have been assured there are a number of Dallasites that care: can Benn’s national-team glory carry over to the Stars, currently holding on to the final playoff spot in the West? The team was hot before the break (6-1-2 in its last nine) and plays the first of its final 24 games tomorrow night. Since I’m not a hockey expert, I will go ahead and say: sure. But Stars coach Lindy Ruff (who also won gold with Team Canada) learned something from his time running the Olympic team’s defense and talking shop with his fellow coaches, including former Stars coach Ken Hitchcock:

“We had an opportunity to scrutinize every play in every game, and then battle as coaches on which is the best way to play it. There are some things that I brought back that I would really like our team to try.”

HOCKEY.

  • Bill Goldsworthy

    Sigh. That’s not Jamie Benn in the picture, Zac. Reminder: Dallas will never be a hockey town, unfortunately.

  • Zac Crain

    It’s been brought to my attention that is not, in fact Jamie Benn, on the left or anywhere else.

    1) Blame me, because, as I said, I’m not a hockey expert, 2) blame Newscom even more, because that is the site I got it from and that was the caption information etc., 3) WE DID A HOCKEY POST AND THAT COUNTS, RIGHT?

    Anyway, sorry. If it helps, squint or look sideways or blink a lot.

  • Zac Crain

    It has been brought to my attention that is not, in fact, Jamie Benn, on the left or anywhere else in that photo.

    1) Blame me, because, as I said, I’m not a hockey expert, 2) blame Newscom even more, because that is the site I got it from and that was the caption information etc., 3) WE DID A HOCKEY POST AND THAT COUNTS, RIGHT?

    Anyway, sorry. If it helps, squint or look sideways or blink a lot.

  • Anne

    The people in that picture are actually (left-to-right) Duncan Keith, Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews. They are Chicago Blackhawks players…

  • N. Broten

    Not only is Jaime Benn not in the photo, the man in the middle is also misidentified. That’s Patrick Sharpe, not Jay Bouwmeester.

  • K. Manala

    Mr. Crain, that is a pretty piss-poor excuse for sloppy documentation. You can place blame anywhere you want, but at least take the high road, do your research, update the article with an appropriate photo, and maintain some shred of journalistic integrity. This isn’t the bloody Village Voice. “You can’t blame me as I don’t know what I’m talking about,” is not a particularly professional response to your readers. Nor is an attitude that proclaims “we gave you a humble item of low quality, so shut your gob and take it”.

  • Drew

    That is terrible and you should be embarrassed. One of the largest hockey card companies in the world is headquartered in Irving. Ask them if you aren’t sure.

  • Tim Rogers

    Hey, Zac, I think you got some stuff wrong with that photo.

  • Seven

    Thanks for the post about hockey. Really.

  • DDD

    Can you imagine the field day Tim would have had if this had been done in the DMN?

  • James the P3

    And for the record, Lindy Ruff did not win a gold medal. The Olympics doesn’t award medals to coaches. So while Ruff was an assistant coach for Team Canada, and Team Canada won the gold, Lindy Ruff did not personally come home with any hardware.