Here are a few ways that the Dallas Stars weren't being described this time last year: "relentless," "balanced," "scary as hell," and "absolutely terrifying." This season, however, is a different story. When TSN's Travis Yost investigated which team does the best job of getting into in-tight scoring areas, the Stars came out on top—and prompted the above description.
Dallas is the NHL's best at both getting into dangerous scoring areas and turning those chances into goals. It's completely unsurprising. The Stars' attack is relentless and balanced, featuring just the right blend of playmakers and bona fide snipers.
But rather than Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin leading the way with in-tight, dangerous shots, it's Mattias Janmark, Jason Spezza, and Valeri Nichushkin who pace the team. That's where the whole "balanced" thing comes into play.
More than anything else, this spells out just how well-rounded the Stars' attack is. And, now that their defensive/goaltending issues appear to be cleaned up, Dallas has evolved from simply being a fun team to watch to scary as hell on the attack. They're averaging well over a goal per game on shots very close to the opposition goaltender at even strength alone. This, of course, says nothing about all of the other chances that can materialize over the course of a game from different locations and in different game states.
In summary, watch out, NHL. [TSN]
The answer to the question below is: Yes. Yes, it is the best 20-game start in franchise history. https://t.co/FvLl67v0Rr— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) November 20, 2015
Here's Razor's take on the team's victory.
And just how did the Stars prepare for the game? I'm glad you asked.
Game day pump up jams in the Dallas Stars locker room this morning: Shania Twain.— Katie Brown (@katiebhockey) November 19, 2015
For those interested, it was revealed to be some old-school Shania.
Congratul8tions are also in order for Alex Ovechkin, who notched his 484th career goal last night and made a little history in the process.
Today's Nice Thing About John Klingberg: He's one of the most cost-effective players in the league right now. [The Hockey News]
As Valeri Nichushkin continues to find his stride this year, Lindy Ruff said putting him back on the top line could be a "real good possibility" for the Stars. [NHL]
And speaking of Val, get to know him a little better as part of the latest Stars Insider. [Fox Sports]
The Stars sit in second place in this week's Haiku-themed edition of Sportsnet's power rankings.
Seguin to Benn to
Seguin to Benn to Seguin
To Benn to Seguin...
Feel free to compose your own poem in the comments. [Sportsnet]
As part of NHLPA signing off on all-star format, players scored a ``five-day bye week'' for next season for all 30 teams. (con't)— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) November 19, 2015
There's more on the break—which will take place for each team between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28—at the link. [ESPN]
According to goaltenders around the league, keep the shots coming. [NHL]
Penguins forward Nick Bonino spent some time with an actual penguin this week.
Sean McIndoe has an idea on how to shake up the trade market. [ESPN]
Making nets bigger isn't the answer to making hockey more entertaining. [Pension Plan Puppets]
And finally, it was goalie gone wild when TPS Turku faced Porin Assat. Ouch. [THN]