Despite it providing a short lived lead, Tanner Kero’s goal against the Red Wings last night during the Hawks 4-3 victory showed the youngster is fitting in quite well. The Daily Herald’s John Dietz reports that Kero is making the most of his callup, being a stellar fill-in for the injured Marcus Kruger as a third line center. This coming for a player who wasn’t entirely sure he had what it takes to be an NHL player long ago as a freshman at Michigan Tech. With a young wife and child at home, Kero certainly has the stress of being successful beyond just himself. But wife Taylor Kero looks at it as a day-by-day process, one that requires her husband–and their family–to take what opportunities life provides.
“You definitely have to be flexible. That’s what this lifestyle calls for,” Taylor said. “We just take things day by day. We’re grateful and hope for the best, and hopefully this opportunity lasts a lot longer.”
In other Central Division news:
- Should the Dallas Stars be wheeling and dealing at the trade deadline, Mike Heika has a few names for fans who are wondering which of their favorite players could be swapping sweaters. At the top of the list is Patrick Sharp, who Heika says will generate the most interest at the actual trade deadline. He believes that Patrik Nemeth is the most likely candidate to be traded right now, while Julius Honka has been the Star most inquired about. Outside of trade bait, Heika also answers a question about bench boss Lindy Ruff’s usage of defensemen. And he doesn’t mince words. Between attrition, and a lack of development of Stephen Johns, Jamie Oleksiak and Nemeth, Heika thinks that a “win now” mentality was the decider in letting the veterans play over the kids, and while their development took a back seat, he can understand the decision making process.
- Puck Daddy’s Josh Cooper writes that Ryan Suter is “in the groove” as the Wild soar to the top of the Western Conference. Suter himself can’t even pinpoint the cause, but it certainly feels good for the defenseman who signed a monster deal to play for the Wild. One reason, Cooper writes, is that it seems like Suter is having more fun this season than he has in the past. But even Suter, when pressed, can’t give a definitive answer for the difference.
“I don’t know why. Confidence?” the 31-year-old Suter said when pressed in an interview with Puck Daddy. “When you’re producing that obviously helps your mindset and when your team is playing well that helps it. I think it’s all come together right now.”
The entire article is worth a read, as Cooper makes an astute point that while Suter easily passes the eye test, the advanced stats tell a slightly different story. Regardless, Suter’s strong play is one of many reasons the Wild are one of the best in the West.