'Wonderbomb' a hit on Stars defense

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by GEORGE RIBA

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WFAA

Posted on March 8, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 8 at 10:11 PM

Note: Game highlights in the video above have been removed due to the NHL's video rights rules.

DALLAS - In the last 16 days, the Dallas Stars have moved from fourth to first in the Pacific Division.

Some say new team ownership has finally given the team direction.

"I'm told that it makes a difference, but as I said, I don't really have anything to base it on," said team owner Tom Gaglardi, who bought the team late last year.
 
Or maybe it's just the combination of the players and their backgrounds.
 
"This is sort of like the [NFL's Oakland] Raiders of the [19]80's, sort of the Island of Misfit Toys, if you will," said Stars broadcaster Ralph Strangis. "There are players here that kind of got their opportunity with Dallas and they've all come together. I think it's a wonderful story."
 
The defense has gotten better and goaltender Kari Lehtonen has been outstanding in his last six games.

Defenseman Sheldon Souray has played a big part. He spent the entire season last year in the minor leagues for Edmonton. Dallas picked him up as an unrestricted free agent, and now he's turned out to be one of the better defenders for the Stars.
 
"I think maybe there was some risk involved, but we didn't look at it like that," said Dallas Stars General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk.
 
Instead, he looked at the positives, which were tempered by his discounted contract of one year at $1.6 million.
 
"I think he's a bit of a throwback," Nieuwendyk said. "He's a very good defender and he has a little nasty in him, too."

The defender credited the organization.
 
"It's more a credit to the guys and the organization for kind of believing in me and accepting me, than it is me doing anything different," Souray said.
 
Souray has quietly stepped in and become one of the team leaders, as well.

Before he came to Dallas, Stars broadcaster Daryl Reaugh called him "Studly Wonderbomb," because of his powerful shot.
 
"I'm sorry, it was funny when you were there," Reaugh said. "It's not quite as humorous here, but he's embraced it, and so have some of the locals, I think. It's [local hockey blog] Defending Big D that's come up with this t-shirt line, 'Studly Wonderbomb,' and it seems to have stuck."
 
And as long as the Stars keep winning, Studly Wonderbomb isn't going anywhere.

E-mail griba@wfaa.com

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