As we continue our forensic analysis of the carcass of the first third of the season, I would like to make a suggestion to the Stars. Not just to Jim Nill, who has certainly been active this season; not only to Lindy Ruff, who has to be dreaming of those wonderful, simple days in Buffalo by now; not even solely to Jamie Benn, who has put up points this year despite what many have identified as palpable frustration and impotence on the ice.
No, this goes out to every single person involved with the team, including stick boys and coffee go-fers. Here is my original step-by-step method for returning the Stars to their rightful place in the upper echelon of the Western Conference:
If that doesn't work for some insane reason, then you can always try doing things a different way. But don't get mad when your way doesn't work and you haven't tried my way. I am giving this advice to you out of love and stuff, and it will definitely work, I bet.
Mike Heika, of course, takes a more measured approach in analyzing this team's shortcomings. While he wouldn't go so far as to suggest a remedy (unlike your bold author [who is me]), he does bring us the perspectives of those who ought to have some idea:
Stars general manager Jim Nill said the coaches and players have to come together and find a rhythm in a fast-paced system that both he and Ruff believe will work for this team.
"I don’t think it’s the system, I think it’s execution of the system," Nill said. "The team has to manage the puck better and be more responsible. In the end, we all have be accountable and take ownership, and I think the players are a big part of that, too."
Meanwhile, captain Jamie Benn has gathered key players at key times and worked behind the scenes to try to get everyone on the same page.
"We’re all working together, and we’re all looking for solutions," Benn said. "We need to play smart and simple, and we need to focus on doing that one shift at a time."
The whole piece is great, as usual, with some further Lindy Ruff breakdowns of what the forwards aren't doing to work with the defensemen. Aside from just generally helping them, I mean. Check it out.
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Saturday Links are here to stay. Saturday links are made your way. Right away. At Defending Big D now.
ESPN loves John Klingberg. Anders Lindback, not as much. That is a reasonable opinion to have. [ESPN]
Paul Stewart is a former referee. Paul Stewart has opinions about the Daley no-goal last night. They are good opinions, I think. How cruel is it that Daley would have scored if only he hadn't initially scored? [Hockey Buzz]
Razor has some new analytics suggestions for you. [Razor with an Edge]
Could the Kings be in a cap crunch soon after extending Alec Martinez? [THN]
Ryan Lambert isn't a big fan of the Seguin trade (from the Bruins' perspective). And now it sounds like Boston is considering shipping out Joe Morrow, Reilly Smith and/or Loui Eriksson. What is going on over in Chowderville? [Puck Daddy]
George Parros has retired. I had a couple friends who were big Ducks fans, and there was a ton of love for this guy back in the day. Vendors around the stadium sold fake wig-and-mustache combo things all over the place, and I think they even had a giveaway night for them once. [CBC]
There will be an outdoor game in Minnesota, Gary Bettman says. Could the Stars be a dance partner? It will be mostly all about TV ratings and tickets. [Fox Sports]
We more or less know what the LA and San Jose Stadium Series jerseys will look like. They're two-tone and stuff. Not sure why you would buy that Kings thing, but the Sharks sweater isn't half bad. [Icethetics]
Finally, check out Keith Ballard's hip check on Corey Perry last night. Remind you of anything?