'Tis the season for predictions in the NHL, and Puck Daddy took aim at our Dallas Stars Monday in their Olympic themed series of prognostications.
Like all national views of the Stars, this one questions Kari Lehtonen's health, rightly wonders about the situation at second line center, and questions a defense that didn't receive much improvement in the off-season. Apparently Tyler Seguin party jokes are the new James Neal trade punchline.
Otherwise the only real question is "Does anyone think Dallas will make it back to the playoffs?"
Harrison Mooney is not impressed.
Depth is a serious concern. Apart from Jamie Benn, the Stars don't really have a go-to scorer. Seguin could be one. Ray Whitney could too, depending on how much he has left. But this team could seriously struggle to score, and considering their defense isn't all that formidable, that's not exactly a recipe for success.
The Stars lucked out a tad, escaping the difficult Pacific Division for the relatively soft Central, but that likely still won't be enough for this team to contend. [Puck Daddy]
I don't know how relatively soft the Central is, but the other point could be a salient one. Will the Stars struggle to score? If Nichushkin and Alex Chiasson are as green as many expect them to be and Erik Cole can't turn it back on, it's a realistic possibility that cannot be ignored.
New division rival Nashville figures to have goaltender Pekka Rinne back to full strength relatively soon after a hip surgery in early May. Take your time, buddy. [Tenessean]
HBO's 24/7 has already been announced to be involved with the Red Wings and Maple Leafs this coming season, and now comes news that the league is considering a documentary series spanning their entire six-game outdoor schedule, spanning possibly eight installments. [Pro Hockey Talk]
NHL.com decided to name Valeri Nichushkin as the best Russian at the Traverse City Tournament, and then Sergey Tolchinsky, undrafted Russian now under the employ of the Carolina Hurricanes, decided to go ahead and out-score him 8-3 in four games. Watch out for that guy. [Point Streak] [NHL.com]
The Philadelphia Flyers might get a little tiny bit of cap space freed up if Chris Pronger's number comes off the books, and it appears as though they're doing everything to spend it as quickly as possible on Dan Cleary. As of late Monday night it appears down to the Flyers, Red Wings and Panthers. [Kuklas] Wait, Panthers?
Short article praising Jack Campbell's performance while pointing out that last year's wasn't very good. [NHL.com]
The NHL makes a verbiage change in Rule 48 regarding hits to the head. The word "targeting" has been taken out. [Puck Daddy]
Martin Brodeur blames the lockout for Ilya Kovalchuk's departure to the KHL. [Elliotte Friedman's 30 thoughts]
The 10 most beautiful women in Dallas? Vote? There's a Stars Ice Girl in here somewhere so it's on the fringe of being almost relevant, but not really. ["D" Magazine]