The Dallas Stars gathered the first fruits of the new Ken Hitchcock era on Tuesday night. With their 4-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings, they’re also on their way to establishing a new and (hopefully) improved identity.
The first win of the season included several more delightful firsts, as Stars digital correspondent Scott Burnside recounts in his latest Five Takeaways:
Other notable moments in this first win: head coach Ken Hitchcock moved into a tie for third place on the all-time coaching wins list with legendary New York Islanders coach Al Arbour. Martin Hanzal scored his first goal as a Star after signing as a free agent in the summer. He was the beneficiary of a selfless pass from Mattias Janmark with time winding down and the Detroit net empty. ... And captain Jamie Benn, with an assist on Tyler Seguin's power play in the last minute of the first period, earned his first point of the season.
But more significantly, the team is beginning to stamp its authority when it executes the game plan, as Hitch points out:
[A]ll four forward units created offensive chances, while the big line of Seguin, Benn and Alexander Radulov were a key part of shutting down the Wings late in the game -- especially when they had to stay on the ice after several icing calls and the Wings pressing with an extra attacker.
"That shift they had, which was almost two minutes, was incredible. They won all the battles, they won all the face-offs, they got the puck out. They did what they were supposed to do. I was really happy for them."
Get the full story from Scott. [Dallas Stars]
Mike Heika has more on how Hitch is solving the Rubik’s cube of speed, youth and energy that is the Stars’ present (and future) roster. [SportsDayDFW]
And Mark Stepneski offers his preview of tonight’s game at the Nashville Predators.
The organization will continue its 25th anniversary commemoration with a new “where are they now” series on the team’s all-time greats. First up: Jamie Langenbrunner.
For our 25th Anny, we'll be posting player updates on former Stars greats. We'll start off with Jamie Langenbrunner. https://t.co/nXFqBQpu1B— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) October 11, 2017
How did we ever get through a whole year without Jammer? Here he is at morning practice after scoring his second goal in three games.
Razor loves him some Tylers – both Seguin and Pitlick – and he’ll tell you so himself in “the first happy Emporium of the year.”
And if you couldn’t be there as the Stars finally got the opportunity to honor Trevor Daley, you can enjoy the video online.
Thanks for the good times, Dales. pic.twitter.com/ygz7kQ4ODo— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) October 11, 2017
Around the league(s)
It was quiet – too quiet – in the #MDK last night, but the Colorado Avalanche did wale on the Bruins again. Sven Andrighetto scored twice and Alexander Kerfoot got his first NHL goal in the Avs’ 6-3 home opener. [NHL]
And it looks as if Patrik Nemeth and his mojo have roared back to life in the Mile High City.
Graphic from tonight's Avalanche broadcast pic.twitter.com/V0tIotkcqe— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) October 12, 2017
Debuted in 1990— NHL (@NHL) October 11, 2017
45 years old
Have NHL referees been so busy calling slashes that they’ve fallen down on other penalties? Bob McKenzie seems to think so, and Michael Russo shares the evidence.
Who will be the top UFA D-man for summer 2018? Your choices range from John Carlson to Zdeno Chara, and you can vote now.
Carlson is easily leading our poll. Is he the no-doubt top name next summer?— Pro Hockey Rumors (@prohockeyrumors) October 11, 2017
There are 640 players on NHL rosters, and only 34 of them still play without a visor. Erik Gudbrandson, Tanner Glass and Zack Smith talk about why they go without.
There are only 34 NHLers left playing without a visor https://t.co/MqhWSn9tMc— SI NHL (@SI_NHL) October 12, 2017
It’s been clear for some time that Brooklyn isn’t working out for the Islanders – but their next relocation is focused on Belmont Park and not their former home of Nassau, says co-owner Jonathan Ledecky.
Are the Vegas Golden Knights as good as they’ve looked? Matt Larkin allows for the small sample size and takes a look anyway.
The fans were on their feet for Dales this week – yet one had to tweet a reminder that even “once a Star, always a Star” has its limits. Enjoy.