Dallas Stars left winger Jamie Benn won the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s top scorer in 2014-15, but few would have thought that possible when New York Islanders center John Tavares went out and had a two-point game on the final night of the season.
Heading into the Stars final game of the season, Benn was already a point back of Tavares and Sidney Crosby, who each had 84 points to Benn’s 83. But Benn, for only the second time in the entire season, managed to notch a four-point night, boost his point total to 87 and take home Art Ross honors. In doing so, Benn became the first player in Stars franchise history to win the award.
But in a new video released by the Stars to pay tribute to Benn’s accomplishment, fans can get an inside look at just how much thought and effort went into the Stars captain’s Art Ross victory by the players around him:
Right out of the gate, Jason Spezza’s admission that the team was playing to get Benn the points necessary to win the award is something you don’t hear often. Spezza had once come in fourth in the Art Ross race, but never has he been closer than that, so he has first-hand knowledge that the opportunity to win the trophy doesn’t come around often.
But maybe the most interesting comment came from Antoine Roussel, who admitted the team was checking to see what kind of production Tavares and Crosby had on April 11. Tavares’ two points put him to 86 total, meaning Benn, who already had two goals in the Stars’ game, would need two more points that evening to take home the award.
After an empty-netter, Benn managed an Art Ross-winning secondary assist on a goal by Cody Eakin with nine seconds left in the game.
The reaction by the Stars players on-ice and on the bench after Eakin’s tally — celebrating with Benn and not the goal-scorer — says just about all you need to know about what the Stars were playing for in their final game of the year.