Note: the Stars are officially beginning preseason play Monday. You can catch the players in Frisco during the preseason at morning skates, starting at 10:15am for lineup skaters and 11:30am for non-playing skaters. Both skates will be open to the public.
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Training camp is over already, in case you stepped out of the room to get a snack or something. In a whirlwind of Rynnas glove grabs, Soupie splits and Seguin snipes, the Stars' ended their time in Fort Worth with a scrimmage of Team Hemsky/Spezza vs. Seguin/Benn. There were other players as well.
Shockingly, the game ended in a tie. This meant that we were headed for a...shootout!
That's weird, I was expecting some really dramatic music to kick in. Huh. Sorry about that. Just pretend something played there, like the opening measures of Holst's "Mars, the Bringer of War." There, isn't that better?
Thanks to the inimitable Mark Stepneski, we have access to a video of said skills competition, which I will insert into the post right here:
Let's break this down, shall we?
First up for green, we had Jason Spezza. He pulls the old "turn on the jets, hit the brakes, work dark stickhandling magick and score" move, which works. It's nice to know that Spezza is at least capable of aiding the Stars' ailing shootout scoring. Hemsky's historically great at them as well, but I'm not saying that's the main reason Nill brought them here. I am not saying that right now, at least.
For the white team, Seguin comes in with less sorcery, skating straight in and firing a wrist shot that glances off the post. James Neal would be proud. Modano would nod his head with a "Well, what else can you do?" and Jussi Jokinen would just laugh. I mean, if there's anyone I trust with a wicked wristah, it's gotta be one of Benn or Seguin, but let's hope Seguin can find the twine a bit more this year. Spoiler: Campbell would not be fazed by being beaten here (although we know that he would contend he was not beaten at all).
Ranford is up next for green, and he gets Lindback to go down with a nice deke to the backhand (using his heelies there), but he runs out of real estate. I think Zubov employed a simpler version of that move with success back in the day, didn't he? Memory is fuzzy. You might want to take a cue from Sergei and tone down the fancy stick work in the high slot, Brendan. It'd also be nice to see Lindback hang with him a bit more there, but it's a slick move, so credit where credit's due (and good gracious gravy, Anders is such a large human being). It's also interesting that Ranford was the only non-veteran to be picked for the shootout, if you want to read anything into that. I probably wouldn't.
Benn comes in on Campbell and tries to just nonchalantly slide it five-hole, but Jack keeps his stick where he ought to. Hard to say what Benn was thinking there—maybe Campbell showed up rocking the iPhone 6 all cocky-like and the captain needed to take him down a peg. Perhaps Jamie offered him a sip of Surge from that sixteen-pack he got off Amazon last week and Campbell turned him down in favor of a Gatorade Propel. Either way, Benn's shot looks a bit cheeky here, and it doesn't work out. Hey, this is the place to try that sort of thing, right? I will say that this does little to quell my rising fears about Jamie Benn's shootout impotence. But easy, easy. It's early days yet.
The aforementioned Ales Hemsky skates in next and tries to use his Rikki Tikki Tavi cobra stare to freeze Lindback, but the puck goes wide. I'm not the least bit worried about #83's shootout prowess, though. Two reasons: 1) Hemsky has scored a ton of shootout goals in his career, and 2) Lindback takes up like 97% of the net, so even a perfectly executed shot could meet some random zipper on its way into the net.
Erik Cole is the final shooter, and he tries a drag move that I think is supposed to pull the goalie to the shooter's right while he then shoots back against the grain, using his reach to, well, reach the vacated left side of the net. Cole instead appears to flub the shot (could be bad ice), and his team completes its collapse against those rebel scum dressed in green. No biggie, though; I have no doubt that Cole went to the showers and instantly got over the missed shot. Instantly. (Reminder: Cole is a fearsome individual and a fantastic athlete who is one of the best hockey playing humans on the planet.)
Preseason starts today, folks.
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Mike Heika wraps up the final day of training camp. It will certainly be interesting to see if the Stars wind up tabbing some of the kids in lieu of Dillon or Eakin signing a contract by opening day. [DMN]
Ali Lucia sums up camp in this video for the Stars. [Stars]
Could John Klingberg make the roster, Mike Heika wonders? We're getting close to finding out. Oh boy, I just can't wait. [DMN]
Here is a look at the Stars from a Buffalo point of view that doesn't really talk about the Stars at all. They claim not to hate the Stars, but I mean, come on. [Fansided]
I totally was not trying to curse Teuvo Teravainen yesterday, I promise. Poor guy is day-to-day with a ______ injury. [Second City Hockey]
Dustin Byfuglien has taken the first step in recovery from his addiction to playing defense. [Pro Hockey Talk]
An interesting comparison between Seahawks' QB Russell Wilson and Anaheim's hotshot young goalie John Gibson. Interesting read here. [The Score]
What is Phoenix's plan for this year? [The Hockey Writers]
Sergei Fedorov is not planning on working for Jarmo Kekalainen any time soon, apparently. His KHL team is now courting Ryan Johansen. Could this all end up being to Ryan Johansen's benefit? Fedorov is currently saying he won't make any such offer, though. [Columbus Dispatch]
Ryan Miller is still getting over the fact that he has the honor of being the new goalie blocking Eddie Lack. [THN]
Chad LaRose on his year away from hockey: "I had just built up a lot of anger towards the game. I wanted to get away. I didn't know that I would ever play again, to be honest. … I fell out of love with the sport and didn't have any passion for it. But sometimes you have to lose what you have to realize what you had." [News Observer]
Buffalo isn't tanking for Connor McDavid, but it's not like anyone would really complain if they did. Maybe Winnipeg. [Puck Daddy]
Icethetics did MLS/NHL mashup concepts in two parts. Western Conference was here, and Eastern Conference was just revealed today. The Sounders and the Timbers are probably my most favoritest ones ever. [Icethetics]
Finally, here's a rundown of most of the injuries suffered by teams to date. Apparently Brett Ritchie's finger and Val Nichuskin's groin aren't bad enough "owies" to make this list. [Pro Hockey Talk]