The Dallas Stars and Texas Stars threw names into a hat and the resulting two teams just completed a scrimmage. You would think the team named after Victory Green might be favored to win, but alas White pulled it out 5-2.
Crazy rules were used because, well, it was a scrimmage. No powerplays were awarded. Instead players were awarded penalty shots when they were fouled. In the last five minutes of the first and third periods the teams dropped to three skaters aside to practice the new overtime rules. The results were predictably exciting.
It was hard to watch given that it was a stream with no graphics and half of the numbers were somewhat unfamiliar, but watch I did, and here are a few thoughts as a result:
* Both teams played pretty well as five man units. Defense has been a focus so far in camp. You could see it in this scrimmage. Both sides moved up and down the ice as groups with few major breakdowns that turned into odd man rushes.
*Jyrki Jokipakka looked good. He played a solid game all around and even scored a goal from a foot in front of the opposing net within 30 seconds of the initial three on three set.
* Jamie Oleksiak though didn't really impress. It's only one game so the more physical presence he's had throughout camp to this point should carry more weight, but the offensive instincts were still lacking.
* The goaltending left something to be desired. Kari Lehtonen allowed a couple questionable goals to players who aren't threatening to make the NHL roster. Jack Campbell and Philippe Desrosiers were both solid. Desrosiers in particular had a few rough chances against that he stopped calmly.
* Tyler Seguin was flying. He looked to be in mid-season form. Playing on his wing was Patrick Sharp. They looked like they have been playing together for years. Jamie Benn, Seguin, and Sharp is a thing that is going to happen and it is going to be awesome.
* Jason Dickinson centered a line with Val Nichushkin. They were confident with the puck and making plays. They turned the puck over a bit in the offensive zone and were victimized on the Matej Stransky goal, but overall they had quality afternoons.
* You can see why Mattias Janmark is impressing the Stars. He plays all three zones well, but today he had a horrific turnover at his own blueline that led to a chance again. If he makes the team it's going to be as a bottom six player. That is a play he simply can't make. Bottom six guys usually have little room for error due to a lack of offensive punch, and preventable defensive miscues can't happen.
The Stars take the ice next on Tuesday in Florida.