Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn were the center of plenty of criticism once again this summer. Despite their heavy contracts, the two former elite forwards have not been productive in a few seasons…until now.
Through 12 games, Benn has recorded 11 points (4G, 7A), while Seguin has 10 (3G,7A). The Dallas Stars are also off to a hot 8-3-1 start. It’s the best start since 2015-16, when Benn (41-48-89) and Seguin (33-40-73) led the way and the club finished first in the Western Conference. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Benn started slow. He only had three points in the first 10 games and looked snake bitten at times. But once he was gifted his first goal in Arizona, that all changed. The captain finished with one goal and two assists in the desert and followed that up with his seventh career hat trick in a 6-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers.
"I really felt for him early," Stars Head Coach Pete DeBoer said. "I think he just needed a bounce to free himself up a little bit. I think it was just getting a bounce on the first one and then relaxing a bit. He is playing really well, he is skating well, playing a really direct game. He's been excellent."
Seguin took a different path. The 30-year-old center has recorded at least one point in all but four games, and only once has he gone two games in a row without hitting the score sheet. Similar to Benn, it took one game (three assists on opening night) to get things going.
Seguin showed plenty of confidence this summer in his return to being an elite player.
"Yeah, I am," he said when asked if he was capable of getting back to that level.
Following multiple injuries and loads of time rehabbing major surgeries, he finally looks like his old self, on and off the ice.
“That’s a Tyler Seguin prototypical goal,” DeBoer said following Tuesday’s win over Los Angeles. “Speed off the rush, and he’s got that world-class shot that can beat a goalie from distance. There’s not many guys that can do that.”
As we enter the second month of the season, Seguin and Benn sit fourth and fifth on the team in overall points. Outside of the blazing hot top line, they have likely been the two best forwards for Dallas so far.