And I will give new head coach Glen Gulutzan credit for this: Where last year's coaching staff would almost never critique the effort, preferring to talk about bounces and how well things went in areas despite the loss, Gulutzan seems to be willing to call a spade a spade when it comes to work rate.
"I thought that one of the most disappointing things that you can do is to get outworked, and I thought we got outworked a little bit," coach Glen Gulutzan said. "We started good and they got that power play goal (in the first period) and after that, I thought that we should have had a little more dig-in, and we didn't get it until the third and by that time, it's too late against a real good team."
He also has an interesting quote at the end of the ESPN Dallas story.
"There are five things that are in my mind. I can tell you what happened on four of the goals. Those things we can clean up. It's four distinct things we can clean up," said Gulutzan. "The fifth thing is we've got to put more pucks on net. We're trying to be too fancy, especially with our third and fourth lines. There's not many 50 goal guys there, so we've got to generate offense by putting pucks on net."
I like this guy already.
After the jump, more on the 5-2 loss to the Hawks, how are the Stars going to deal with the salary cap floor issues and it looks like it might be a long season for Dave Tippett and Mike Smith in Phoenix.
- Gulutzan is a lot more bullish on the performance of backup goaltender Andrew Raycroft than I was, though he does mention the first Dave Bolland goal as something that was difficult for the team to swallow. The notes also detail the line changes that seemed to help things in the third period, including moving Steve Ott to the second line and Tomas Vincour to the fourth line. [ESPN Dallas]
- Bolland's contribution is understandably the focus of a lot of the Chicago coverage of the game. Hawks captain Jonathan Toews is especially complimentary. This story is pretty representative. [Chicago Sun-Times]
- In the comic understatement of the morning, the changes to Friday's game presentation, especially the organ, produced some strong fan reaction. [DallasNews.com]
- The promotion of Glen Gulutzan to the NHL squad left a hole in Austin, which is now being coached by Jeff Pyle. The story also includes quotes from Brad Lukowich, who has high expectations for this year's team. Also singled out for praise is Colton Sceviour, who very nearly made the NHL out of training camp. [Austin American-Statesman]
- Conformation from general manager Joe Nieuwendyk about what we already knew and an intriguing tidbit: The demotion of Sean Avery puts the Stars in danger of violating the salary cap floor, and the team is likely looking to add a player rather than simply massage what they already have to deal with it. Also interesting is the point that the NHL told the Stars that Avery's hit would always count, then after he was put on waivers, basically came back and said, "Whoops, we were wrong." Thanks for the heads up, league. [DallasNews.com]
- Scouting the enemy: Saturday night didn't go very well for the Phoenix Coyotes either as they were dominated 6-3 by everyone's favorite fish, the San Jose Sharks. Among the ugly numbers - the Coyotes were down 6-1 at one point and gave up 52 shots. [Five For Howling]
- Around the Pacific Division: In the European subdivision of the division, the Anaheim Ducks beat the unhelpful New York Rangers 2-1 in a shootout and the Buffalo Sabres continue to be the Stars friends with a 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings. On the plus side, this means the Stars, Kings and Sharks are all tied atop the division. What, too soon? [Los Angeles Times/Los Angeles Times]
- The Ducks also picked up a player as they traded defenseman Jake Newton and a 2013 seventh-round draft pick to the Colorado Avalanche for defenseman Kyle Cumiskey. [NHL.com]
- Former Stars winger James Neal is feeling better about himself after scoring a (super weak) goal on Roberto Luongo to open the season in the Pittsburgh Penguins game against the Vancouver Canucks. He's a talented sniper, but I still get the sense he's going to continue his streaky play, and it will be interesting to see what people make of him if history repeats itself. [Montreal Gazette]
- We're putting together a variety of our own second-level stats here at Defending Big D this year, primarily focusing on scoring chances. And some in the mainstream media are taking a look at these newer statistics, this article focusing on Corsi. I think the writer does a good job pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of these stats, and more importantly, pointing out the idea that good usage of stats always involves pointing out the context. [Edmonton Journal]