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Dallas Stars Daily Links: The Enigma That is the Stars’ Defense

Friday’s win in Calgary somehow made Dallas’ defensive situation even more confusing. Plus more takeaways from the game, surprises from all 31 teams, and Alexander Ovechkin is a great guy.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Calgary Flames Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been mentioned before, but it’s worth mentioning again: the Stars’ defense was weird Friday night against the Calgary Flames.

Greg Pateryn, who has spent the majority of the season in the pressbox, led the team in ice time with 21:32. He did that while having the worst possession stats on the team (roughly 33%) despite having the highest amount of offensive zone stars (about 66%).

Numbers aside though, it’s not as if everything about Pateryn’s game was bad:

On top of that, Pateryn didn’t look that bad according to the eye test. While his numbers made it look he spent the entire game losing possession and failing to take advantage of ideal starting position, he actually made a couple nice plays and did a nice job late in the game when Dallas was clinging to a 2-1 lead.

Ken Hitchcock has been shuffling around the defensive pairs all season, so it’ll be interesting to see where Greg Pateryn falls into the lineup going forward.

One defensman who definitely isn’t going anywhere though is Esa Lindell; Derek wrote a great piece the other day about Lindell’s spectacular play this season, and he once against stood out on Friday.

Lindell played in all situations, came up with a big power play goal, killed penalties, and had a couple key clearances as late in the game. The analytics also look good as Lindell had a 53.57 CF% and had the lowest percentage of offensive starts (16.67 percent) on the team.

You can read more about the oddity that is the Stars’ defense in Sean Shapiro’s piece here.

Scott Burnsides gives his five takeaways from Friday’s win over the Flames. [NHL]

It looks like the metal helmet is officially the new cowboy hat, this time going to Kari Lehtonen:

Hitch argues that Dallas is much better than their record, and that the games so far have felt just like playoff hockey.

The Stars had best power play percentage in the NHL as of yesterday morning, and the addition of Alexander Radulov has been a huge help. [Sportsday DFW]

Meanwhile in Cedar Park, the Texas Stars edged out San Jose 3-2 in the shootout. [Texas Stars]

Around the League

The games have already been played, but DownGoesBrown broke down the major storylines heading into Saturday night’s games. [Sportsnet]

The Arizona Coyotes are still looking for their first win, and they’ve acquired a new goaltender to help them get it:

Note: The Devils, ironically, are the team that beat the Coyotes last night. Wedgewood, understandably, didn’t play.

Sam McCaig gives you 31 surprises about every NHL team, though he doesn’t get very creative with Dallas (the “surprise” is that Kari is making 5.9M as a backup). [The Hockey News]

Despite all common sense, Vegas continues to perform well, shutting out the Colorado Avalanche Friday night:

That gives Vegas 6 wins in a 7 game homestead; will any other team be able to match that this season? [NBC Sports]

Matt Larkin talks Mitch Marner and coaches on the hot seat in his new mailbag. [The Hockey News]

It’s the second time in a row I’m linking a Ryan Reaves and Phil Kessel video, but this was too good to not share:

The Central Division seemed to be a fan of lopsided scores last night; first up is a 4-1 St. Louis Blues victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. [NHL]

Meanwhile the Chicago Blackhawks were the victims of a 6-3 drubbing by the Colorado Avalanche. Yes, you read that right. [Second City Hockey]

The Nashville Predators didn’t fare much better, getting pummeled 6-2 by the New York Islanders. [On The Forecheck]

In that game, John Tavares scored a hat trick within 8 minutes of play, because he’s just that good.

Finally, if you weren’t a fan of Alexander Ovechkin before, you should be now: the Washington Capitals captain bought some clothes for a homeless man he saw while in Edmonton. [Sportsnet]