All summer long, Dallas Stars fans thought their defense was going to be bigger and better after the releases of Alex Goligoski, Jason Demers and Kris Russell. The team added Dan Hamhuis in their stead, but he is still trying to adjust to his new team.
Things are a little bit different here than where I have played in the past," said Hamhuis, who played in Vancouver the last six seasons. "I think it's a great system that complements the skill set our team has, but we as a group can do a better job executing it.”
In the first two games the Stars have struggled, particularly on the defensive end:
Dallas ranks 24th in the NHL at 4.00 goals per game. Even worse, they have been outshot 24-34 on average and are coughing up golden scoring opportunities at a painful pace. While the Stars are 1-1-0, weak team defense and goaltending are the concerns that keep Stars fans up at night.
"We have to be better than that," captain Jamie Benn said after a 6-5 loss to Colorado on Saturday.
Read Mike Heika’s observations here (DMN)
There were some interesting stat lines for goalies from Saturday’s games:
One of the odd statistical things about NHL. Kari Lehtonen stops 12 of 13 and gets loss. Allows game-wining goal in 6-5 loss.— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) October 16, 2016
Despite being on the bench for the #Canucks own-goal, Miller does not get the shutout. Yet his save % for the game is 100.— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 16, 2016
The Stars will return to practice tomorrow:
Stars practice is scheduled for Noon tomorrow in Frisco.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) October 16, 2016
In case you missed it, former 2010 Stars first-round pick goalie Jack Campbell was stellar in his debut Saturday for the AHL Ontario Reign (Los Angeles Kings), stopping all 36 shots for the 2-0 shutout. (Ontario Reign)
Only three games on the NHL schedule last night, none of them in the Central division, but there was an exciting overtime finish for the Vancouver Canucks. They spotted the Carolina Hurricanes a 3-goal lead before winning 4-3:
In other NHL action:
Stars General Jim Nill had a large part in helping Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman learn the ropes of the front office job.
Nill had this to say about Yzerman
"He’s determined. He’s intense. It’s not like you go from a player into the front office and you lose all those traits." (The Hockey News)
In Chicago, forward Nick Schmaltz is finding his ice time increasing and scored his first NHL goal for the Blackhawks on Saturday. (CSN)
Sports Illustrated held a media roundtable to discuss topics in the NHL’s 100th season:
With the NHL beginning its 100th season in operation, SI asked nine media members to discuss the league’s biggest topics, including its young stars, players as hockey analysts and potential rule changes. (SI)
Finally, Toronto Maple Leafs rookie sensation Mitchell Marner’s first NHL goal was very exciting for the Leafs Punjabi announcer. (NHL)