’14: The Year of Benn – A Look Back at the Highs and Lows

Why shouldn’t my first piece on our new blog be entirely about Jamie Benn? After all, in my small corner of the internet, I’m rather well known for being unable to carry on a conversation that doesn’t involve him somehow, even when the conversation is about something else entirely. (Side note: I’ve been asked by several people if I could go 24 hours without talking about Jamie Benn. I still haven’t tried, but I probably could? Why would I want to, is the question.)

The Dallas Stars declared this year to be the #YearOfTheBenn


Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America

Do you get it?

Do you get it now?

And because it’s the #YearOfTheBenn, that means there must be a year end review, right? *crickets chirp* Excellent, let’s get started.

January:

Highlight: After being snubbed by Team Canada’s Olympic training camp, Jamie played his way into a coveted spot on Team Canada’s roster. Ahead, by the way, of veteran Martin St. Louis, who ended up going anyway when Stamkos hadn’t recovered from his broken leg in time.

Lowlight: Jamie elbowed Matt Cooke in the head. He wasn’t, and shouldn’t have been, suspended for the offense, but it’s still a move no one wants to see, especially from a captain. While many Stars fans (myself obviously included) love to see Jamie Hulk out and use his big body like a wrecking ball on the debris of the opposition, he needs to exercise more caution in doing so. [1]

 

February:

Highlight: Jamie won gold with Team Canada! After bouncing up and down the lines, Jamie found a sweet spot with the Anaheim Ducks’ Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. He scored two goals in the tournament, both game-winners, including the lone goal in a harrowing 1-0 win over Team USA. [2]

Brian Casella/Chicago Tribune

Lowlight: Idk, he scored the lone goal on Team USA? *waves American flag*
Phil Noble/Reuters

 

March:

Highlight: In an emotional game following Rich Peverley’s collapse on the bench, Jamie scored in overtime to carry the Stars past the Blues.

Lowlight: Yes, this is a Jamie Benn list, but can anyone pick anything but Rich Peverley? The aftershocks of that game echoed up and down the roster, and many looked to the captain for a way to move forward.

 

April:

Highlight: Leaving it till the 11th hour, the Stars clinched the playoffs for the first time in Jamie’s pro career (and in his first year as captain!) in a shutout game against the Blues.

Lowlight: Stars didn’t make it out of the first round. While they took the Ducks further than many expected, a full six games, the Ducks scored in overtime to carry themselves into the second round. (A round of “can both these teams lose” against the Kings. Unfortunately, neither the Honda Center nor the Staples Center were struck by falling space debris, and the Kings beat the Ducks in who-cares-number-of-games.)

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America

 

May:

Highlight: Slow month for news not regarding the ongoing playoffs, but multiple Stars media outlets gave Jamie glowing reviews for his first year as captain. [3] [4] [5]

Lowlight: No more hockey. (Because the Blackhawks were jinxed by several key cursed media outlets, the Kings beat them in overtime in game seven. I was watching the game on Gamecenter Live and twitter simultaneously. The beauty of this set up? I was spoiled for the OT goal and never had to watch it. Therefore: it never happened.)

 

June:

Highlight: Jamie named First Team All Star by the NHL, first time ever for him, first time ever for any Star to be named to the first team. [6] [7]

Lowlight: Still no hockey. Kings won the Cup. (I had to go on the Kings website to find out what day this happened, I hope you appreciate my sacrifices.)

 

July:

Highlight: For at least the second year in a row, Jamie Benn (along with other local to Victoria NHL stars) coached at the Ryan O’Byrne Charity Hockey Camp. My feelings for Jamie Benn are well documented, so I don’t mind saying that he looked hella fly coaching these tiny hockey players. [8] [9] [10]

Bruce Stotesbury/Times Colonist

Lowlight: I couldn’t even remember what hockey looked like.

 

August:

Highlight: Jamie Benn answered Tyler Seguin’s Ice Bucket Challenge: [in fine fashion] and revealed a new tattoo sleeve and a pretty nicely defined torso. Also revealed: a nice new haircut. Yes, the summer of 2014 was also the summer of a Benn Makeover. Idk, maybe it gave him a sense of control in a world full of chaos.

source

Lowlight: The ice bucket challenge was released while I was at my sister’s house babysitting my infant nephew, and all of my squealing had to be internal. It was painful, y’all.

 

September:

Highlight: Preseason was kind of a bust for Jamie (though the Stars as a whole did well) so I’m going with Jamie playing sled hockey with Team USA, Tyler Seguin, and children from the MS Society. Jamie contributed to a worthy cause, had fun, looked adorable. The internet doesn’t want me to embed this, so have a link instead.

Lowlight: Jamie Benn revealed that he’d rather be staked to a fire ant hill than ride a rollercoaster. Not much of a lowlight, but I’m unimpressed all the same.

 

October:

Highlight: Jamie went on a five game goal streak, 10/14-10/24 (October His Jersey Number to October His Brother’s Jersey Number; Sidney Crosby isn’t the only one with a weird number thing, apparently). It was his longest goal streak since February, which was also a five game streak. Honorable mention goes to the Dude Perfect video, where Jamie and Tyler revealed that their trick shots are kind of amazing. And also that they’re giant dorks, but we already knew that.

Lowlight: Stars start the season 4-4-2, which was underwhelming after all the preseason hype.

 

November:

Highlights: Jamie had a big first period, scoring twice and assisting once against the Kings on 11/22 to lead the Stars to a 5-4 victory. While the third period collapsed almost entirely (if this were a Stars review, the third period collapse this season would be lowlight number one on anyone’s list), the Kings weren’t able to overcome Jamie Benn’s (notice I didn’t say the Stars) early lead.

Lowlights: Jamie went streaking again, 11 game goal drought that didn’t end until November 16.

 

December:

Highlight: Still in the making, but man last night’s game has to be high on the list, right? It was ugly in goal and sometimes on defense, but for once Jamie’s line had good possession numbers AND we still won the game. (Granted, in an eight round shootout, but STILL.) Jamie had a goal and an assist and generally beasted like he does when he’s pissed about his team losing. But, like, safe beasting and not potentially injurious beasting, which is always appreciated.

Lowlight: Yet another goal drought, this time for 9 games. I’d like him to stop those. As this rather unimpressive season continues, there’ve been rumblings of whether Jamie is a fit captain for the Stars, and I’d kindly like to tell all of those people to gtfo.

 

End of year report:

 

Jamie started the year strong with a gold medal and a trip to the playoffs and while this season has been less impressive, we’re still only halfway through. Instead of the Olympics this year, we have an All Star Weekend to look forward to (your daily reminder to vote for Jamie to represent the Stars at the 2015 All Star Game!). (Reminder that in 2012, Jamie won the target shooting challenge.) The playoffs still FEEL like a long way off, but we’ve played more than a third of our games and are still 7 points out of a playoff spot. Maybe Jamie likes being an underdog, and maybe part of the problem is that he isn’t anymore. Whatever it is, I live in hope that next spring is as impressive as last spring was.

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