I have had many differing emotions regarding the Stars
this season, as I am sure all people who watched every game have as well. I will focus on the team or components we are working with now as that will help me keep this short.
I love our team's compete level, my coworker-- a Pens fan-- has been watching the last three games. Unfortunately we did not win any but he had a very nice compliment. He believes our compete level and skill is that of a 3-4 seed in the playoffs but we were just missing that final piece. That is high praise from a fan that is conditioned with excellence during the regular season, as we once were long ago....
I did not believe our team had a chance to compete for the playoffs since last year. I believed this squad would be fun to watch but not able to hold a candle to the highly touted big boys of the Western Conference.
They proved me wrong, and I couldn't be happier about it.
Now to improve we need at least one but ideally two centerman that can take top six minutes. Eakin has been a revelation this season, but it has been said by many that he is more of a third line scorer who can supplement second line minutes in a pinch. I tend to agree with that cautious approach.
Hopefully Gaglardi will open the purse for Joe to pay Weiss and Bozak to come to Dallas if both are available. I would love to see Bozak centering Benn and Chiasson on a big skilled line and Weiss creating beautiful plays with Whitney and Eriksson next year.
But I would like to touch on a point I made last summer that has unfortunately manifested itself this year. Our team gets pushed around too much. We have grit but not size. We keep getting up after being punched in the mouth, yes, but we need one (preferably two) of our defensive prospects to develop serious mean streaks. That is the only thing that will stop guys like Dustin Brown
from taking cheap shots on our guys.
What happened when Brown chicken-winged Roussel? Nothing. And people will say that an enforcer has no place in hockey. I disagree, an enforcer with no skill has no place. Which is why Nemeth or Dillon have to get mean. Oleksiak apparently is a gentle giant, but hopefully he can get angrier with age.
Enforcers are the only people that insure the garbage that Brown deals out is eradicated. They respond to the hit by breaking his jaw
Yes they will get suspended, as Hatcher was for the first round of the playoffs that year if I remember correctly.
More importantly than settling it by themselves, after just one retribution fight or hit where the enforcer makes the bully pay for his transgression, the referees pay closer attention.
Enforcers make the refs look out for dirtier play, you can believe if we had a Hatcher-esque defender on our team that didn't take this kind of shit and play on that the refs would have been more inclined to call a penalty. Simply because it would avoid the circus act that would be sure to follow. A penalty given, which is warranted, is better than letting the play go and having to deal with a serious injury or worse those bench clearing brawls that the hockey world is embarrassed by.
I love this team and will only pull for them, but can we get a mean streak into one of our plethora of defensemen? Please?
I envision Nemeth and Dillon being the angry bunch, possibly Gaunce, because we have Oleksiak to be a stable D-man to fill in during the PK if he doesn't want his hands to get dirty. I am rambling now, so back to work.
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