If you follow the Stars closely, then you already KNOW that Esa Lindell is an ELITE defenseman. But TONIGHT I will explain to those who aren’t Stars fans just how sick this guy is.
The Stars had a rough start to the season, going 1-7-1 at one point, but now the team has pulled itself to 8-8-1 and a current 4 game win streak. In that turnaround, the Stars have had to look to their strongest players to put in the time and take the reigns.
Esa Lindell is one of those players.
Lindell is an absolute workhorse. Last season, the Finn played in all 82 games with 32 points (11G 21A). He registered 132 shots on goal, 161 blocked shots, 143 hits, and 30 takeaways. Lindell led the defensive team when players like John Klingberg were out with injury, something he is going to have to do again soon.
In playoffs, Lindell played in 13 games with 1 goal and 4 assists. Defensively, he had 34 blocked shots, 29 hits, and 6 takeaways.
What stands out is the amount of time he puts on the ice.
In the regular season last year, Lindell averaged 24:40 on the ice per game, always putting in at least 20 minutes a night. In the playoffs, his time jumped to 26:58, even playing 37:45 in the team’s final game against the Blues before elimination.
This season, Lindell is back and aiming to outdo himself.
The 25-year-old has 1 goal and 2 assists in 17 games. He has 31 blocked shots, 14 hits, and 3 takeaways. Lindell is averaging 23:30 in the first 16 games but had another 25-minute performance tonight against Colorado.
He’s a player you can put in nearly any position and know he is going to be reliable, he’s played 84:22 on the penalty kill in this season alone!
He’s a strong guy, he took a puck to the face (from Sidney Crosby) put on the fishbowl and got to work. He even jokes he’s just happy he didn’t lose teeth so he can make fun of John Klingberg still.
Lindell is a valuable asset to the Stars and the NHL is starting to take note of that. Lindell, paired with players like Klingberg or Miro Heiskanen, is what has been boosting this Dallas team. They started rough but they’re a team of contenders. Esa is going to help lead this team back to playoffs and this time, they’re not going to stop until they see that Cup!
Featured Image: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports