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Saturday FTB: Never put the cart-**** before the horse-****

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The Leafs win, the Marlies lose, and the Dallas Stars CEO lost his damn mind.

Detroit Red Wings v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

There isn’t much going on in the hockey world right now. The league is just kicking back into gear after the holiday break, the roster freeze has yet to be lifted, and while the WJC is going on it’s had some stinker games around a few good matchups.

Maybe that’s why Jim​ Lites, the CEO for the Dallas Stars, decided to speak out against his two star players in the media — reportedly with the owner’s blessing. And by speak out against them, I am lose his god damn mind. I cannot do the whole article justice, and if you have an Athletic subscription I recommend reading the whole thing.

Suffice to say he wasn’t happy with the performance with Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. Weirdly, both players are close to where they are in points from last season. Weirdly, their line is destroying teams in shot attempts, and scoring chances, and expected goals. Weirdly, Seguin especially is leading the league in posts and crossbars. Although this is what Lites had to say about the posts...

“He’s hitting posts, ‘wah-wah.” That’s what I say about hitting posts,” Lites said.

Sounds like a sweel guy, that Jim Lites. Worth noting that this tirade came after the Stars actually won a game, and that the team’s recent draft history during GM Jim Nill’s tenure includes the following players to ever make the NHL:

  • Miro Heiskanen — 2016 first round pick. Good pl’r.
  • Denis Gurianov — 2015 first round pick. Missed Jake DeBrusk, Matt Barzal, Kyle Connor, Thomas Chabot, and Brock Boeser taken later in the 1st round.
  • Roope Hintz — 2015 second round pick. Missed Jordan Greenway, Rasmus Andersson, Vince Dunn, Oliver Kylington taken later in the 2nd round.
  • Julius Honka — 2014 first round pick. Missed Dylan Larkin, Travis Sanheim, Alex Tuch, Kasperi Kapanen, Jared McCann, David Pastrnak taken later in the 1st round.
  • Valeri Nuchushkin — 2013 first round pick. Missed Max Domi, Josh Morrisey, Alex Wennberg, Ryan Pulock, Anthony Mantha, Shea Theodore taken later in the first round.
  • Jason Dickinson — 2013 late first round pick. Missed Ryan Hartman, JT Compher, Robert Hagg taken later in the 1st/2nd rounds.
  • Remi Elie — 2013 second round pick. All professional games played with Ottawa.
  • Nick Paul — 2013 fourth round pick. No longer with the organization.

Maybe the problem is less that Seguin and Benn are playing SLIGHTLY worse than expected through only half a season, while having great peripherals, and more that the team outside of their top line is straight up ass. Seriously, their contracts are not Milan Lucic-levels bad, not by far. They’re still very good players and will likely have more points down the stretch simply due to bounces going their way.

Then again, apparently this CEO guy has a bit of a reputation for saying some weird things.

ONTO THE LINKS

Game recap: Maple Leafs have no vacation hangover as they beat Columbus 4-2 | by elseldo

The Leafs’ 5v5 play has caught up to the rest of their game | by Arvind

Auston Matthews named All Star Game captain | by elseldo. Suck if Buffalo. Matthews is better than Eichel and no one cares about your team or your players.

Meanwhile, the Marlies lost 5-1 in a game that saw their game time roster showcasing a whole new level of decimation.

Andreas Borgman and Timothy Liljegren are hurt. Rasmus Sandin is at the World Juniors. Jeremy Bracco, Pierre Engvall and Adam Brooks are sick.

The Marlies were so short on players, they had to quickly call up Plouffe from the ECHL and he didn’t get on the bench until after the game had started. Jordan Subban was their 4th line Right Wing, and according to our Marlies reporter HardevLad, he actually was being played on the wing and not as a 7th D.

Could be worse though. They could be Edmonton.

Have a great weekend!