Well that wasn’t the start of the season we were hoping for, now was it?
Most Stars’ fans expected the team to soundly beat the Vegas Golden Knights in their inaugural game and then have at least a close game with the St. Louis Blues. Instead, the team is sitting at 0-2 with several questions that need answering before they take on Detroit on Tuesday.
For instance, how do the Stars start converting on offensive opportunities? The team has 86 shots on net through 2 games yet only 3 goals to show for it. Do you throw Julius Honka into the lineup and hope his offensive play puts a spark into the team? And is this just a bad start for Kari Lehtonen, or is the team already having a back-up goalie crisis this early into the season?
Two games is an extremely small sample size, sure, but it’s all we have to work with. Let’s hope the team learns from these past two games and start tallying up the win column.
Here’s some post-game remarks from Razor and Luds:
They weren't losses, they were 'non-wins' and the @DallasStars know they have what it takes to turn them into wins #GoStars pic.twitter.com/oJ8Q8Us8Rm— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) October 8, 2017
Mike Heika is, for good reasons, less optimistic about the team’s start. [SportsDay DFW]
Here’s Mark Stepneski’s recap, adding some interesting stats from the past two games. [NHL]
Jake Allen got the 1st star last night, and understandably so:
With saves like that, it's going to be a rough time getting a puck by @34jallen. #NHLFaceOff pic.twitter.com/P6Ng3blwwU— NHL (@NHL) October 8, 2017
Scott Burnside has five takeaways from the game, reminding us not to freak out (yet). [NHL]
I guess “tough start” is one way to put it, though that might be putting it nicely:
Hitchcock said goaltenders are dealt with on wins and losses, Said Lehtonen has had a "tough start."— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) October 8, 2017
Here’s what the Finnish goalie had to say about the game and moving forward:
With a few days off and the Red Wings coming to town Tuesday, Kari Lehtonen knows the @DallasStars have some work to do #GoStars pic.twitter.com/HVW7JcCxet— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) October 8, 2017
Martin Hanzal left early in the second period and did not return. Fingers crossed that everything is okay.
No update on Martin Hanzal. He'll be evaluated back in Dallas.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) October 8, 2017
Other Stars News
The Texas Stars also had a back-to-back last night, although they were much, much more successful:
...didn't we see this score recently? Stars beat the Wolves 6-5 for the second straight night, this time in OT.#CHIvsTX #txstars— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) October 8, 2017
Here’s the game winning goal, courtesy of my favorite Texas player, Jason Dickinson:
We told you #SaturdaysAreForTheBoys specifically, our boys. #CHIvsTEX #txstars pic.twitter.com/yC4WgQGQXl— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) October 8, 2017
Here’s what Jason had to say in his post game interview:
.@jdickinson_11 talks about his OT game-winner and the 6-5 win over Chicago at the @HEBCenter.#CHIvsTEX #txstars pic.twitter.com/qW8ti3IRQq— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) October 8, 2017
You can read about the rest of the game in depth here: [100 Degree Hockey]
This might sting a bit more after last night, but Sean Shapiro has a nice breakdown of Lehtonen’s allowed goals from the Vegas game, including why he’s not entirely to blame for them. [Wrong Side of the Red Line]
Around the League
Remember when people were debating whether Alex Ovechkin was declining or not? Me neither.
ALEX OVECHKIN HAS FOUR GOALS!@ovi8. HAS. FOUR. GOALS! pic.twitter.com/kKzCN1yqWZ— NHL (@NHL) October 8, 2017
To put things in perspective:
Alex Ovechkin matched a 100-year-old benchmark with hat tricks in each of the @Capitals first two games of the 2017-18 season. #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/U4W4tZCfxB— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) October 8, 2017
Well this is awkward: Will Butcher made franchise history for the Devils by scoring 3 assists in their 4-1 win over the Avalanche, whom he left this summer after winning the Hobey Baker. [Sportsnet]
The Predators’ meanwhile lost to the Penguins 4-0, their scoring struggles carrying over from June.
Matt Murray shuts out Predators for 3rd straight time in Cup Final rematch. https://t.co/XH3D5SqcEm pic.twitter.com/hbVzocnmp0— theScore (@theScore) October 8, 2017
Lyle Richardson discusses if Troy Brouwer might be on the trading block now that the Flames have signed Jaromir Jagr. [The Hockey News]
The Florida Panthers have signed sophomore defenseman Michael Matheson to a 8x4.875M extension:
SIGNED: The @flapanthers and D Michael Matheson have reached an agreement on an 8-year, $39 million extension. MORE: https://t.co/ZHzImBTX8l pic.twitter.com/7RzvmfRQCb— SportsCentre (@SportsCentre) October 7, 2017
The question now: did the Panthers lock up a future stud, or did they overpay for a mostly unknown commodity? [NHL on NBC Sports]
We’re not the only ones to lose to the expansion team: James Neal scored in overtime to give the Golden Knights the W. Surely this is the beginning of a 98-0-0 run:
Vegas' knight in shining armor, @jneal_18, does it again. #NHLFaceOff pic.twitter.com/3A8BOjRZUM— NHL (@NHL) October 8, 2017
Ryan Kennedy ranks his top players to watch in the NCAA this year. Riley Tufte comes in at #8, Jake Oettinger at #17, and Colton Point at #59. [The Hockey News]
It’s not taking a knee, but the national anthem protest has made its first appearance in the NHL:
Tampa Bay Lightning forward J.T. Brown raised his fist during the national anthem this evening pic.twitter.com/k7jVGeEdRT— SB Nation NHL (@SBNationNHL) October 7, 2017
Here’s what the Tampa Bay Lighting had to say about the demonstration: [The Score]
And finally, Jaromir Jagr didn’t dress for the Calgary Flames in their 6-3 win against the Jets last night, so he decided to have a little fun with his super-fans:
Living legend Jaromir Jagr surprises the "Travelling Jagrs" during the first intermission on #Flames TV. Pretty cool. @68isgr8. pic.twitter.com/dQy5P4YkPD— Will Nault (@Fan960Nault) October 8, 2017