The Dallas Stars need more scoring if they want to get back to winning. And after a frustrating shutout in St. Louis, head coach Ken Hitchcock is promising some changes in tonight’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Mike Heika of The Dallas Morning News talked with Hitchcock about some of the Stars’ pressing personnel issues, including the domino effects of losing Martin Hanzal to injury and Antoine Roussel to the flu:
Dallas took too many penalties the past two games and that forced a significant amount of the penalty killing work to go to Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, who had to step up because Hanzal and Roussel weren't available. With Seguin-Benn a bit worn out, the top line with Alexander Radulov lost some offensive zip. If the top line was struggling, the rest of the lineup also wasn't effective.
"We're asking them to do too much, so we have to narrow the focus," said Hitchcock, who sounded like he wanted to break up the line after Thursday's game, but sounded more on Friday like he wanted to better support the line. With Roussel expected to return to play Saturday, Hitchcock said the opportunity is there to reduce the penalty killing minutes for Benn and Seguin.
And the Stars know their biggest challenge is to raise their game against the game’s best, Hitch says:
..."We're trying to get caught up and catch the big dogs. There's a reason they're big dogs, because they play a certain way. We're dramatically improved in the past month, but there's still a ways to go, obviously."
There’s more at Mike’s place. [SportsDayDFW]
The DBD game preview will be up soon – in the meantime, here’s the official version from Mark Stepneski.
Doing some holiday shopping in Dallas this afternoon? You might find a gift
for yourself at the Stars’ player-issued equipment sale – 1-4 p.m. in the AAC’s South Lobby.
Equipment Sale tomorrow! 1p-4p at the @AACenter South Lobby.— Stars Hangar (@StarsHangar) December 8, 2017
Skates (with steel)-$250
Skates (without steel) $200
Reebok Blank Practice Jersey - $50
Reebok Player Practice Jersey - $100
Very few helmets and pants -$55
See You tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/KizDiDsBAz
Around the league(s)
The #MurderDeathKill Division brought the free extra minutes last night, because these teams give. They’re givers:
- Matt Dumba scored the game-winner as the Minnesota Wild outlasted the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 in OT. [NHL]
- The Vegas Golden Knights won the Nashville Predators half of this weekend’s #MDK back-to-back (and Malcolm won the Battle of the Subbans): The Perds made up a two-goal deficit but lost 4-3 in the shootout. [On The Forecheck]
- And the Chicago Blackhawks hung in for a 3-2 win against the Buffalo Sabres to break a five-game losing streak. Gustav Forsling scored the GWG with 5 seconds left in 3-on-3, and Corey Crawford won his first game back from injury. [Second City Hockey]
Karl Subban: proud dad, or proudest dad ever? He corralled P.K. and Malcolm for a family photo before the brothers’ first NHL game against each other.
Also at SN: Nazem Kadri has two words for Matthew Tkachuk after the 19-year-old’s third suspension in 103 NHL games: “Wake up.” [Sportsnet]
Gary Bettman talked with Dan Rosen about the new tracking technology the NHL hopes to have ready as early as the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs – using cameras instead of chips to follow players and pucks.
On tracking data and the revolutionary technology the NHL hopes to implement soon: https://t.co/JVSPYcUZbt— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) December 8, 2017
Andrei Markov played 16 seasons and 990 games for the Montreal Canadiens, and he and was looking forward to his 1,000th NHL start. A new article in Le Journal de Montréal details the breakdown between player and management that led to Markov’s departure for the KHL.
Alex Prewitt explores the long and often glorious history of hockey in Seattle as the city sets its sights on an NHL expansion team. (Watch for the cameo by former Star Brenden Dillon, alumnus of the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds.)
"The mayor looked me in the eye and made me swear that I would spend every waking day trying to get the NHL here." Seattle is on a mission to bring hockey back to the city https://t.co/XP1LPcTBwx— SI NHL (@SI_NHL) December 9, 2017
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
And the T-Stars continued their winning ways with another OT victory. They dropped the Bakersfield Condors 3-2 last night, with Sheldon Dries providing the GWG.
The #txstars have won nine of their last 12 games thanks to more overtime magic tonight, 3-2 over the Condors. Sheldon Dries tallied the game-winner.— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) December 9, 2017
Read: https://t.co/XMDiP6coAD pic.twitter.com/VrvSo1FY9s
When Roope Hintz talks about flow, he doesn’t mean his hair. He discussed his chemistry with line-mate (and Second Star of the Game) Denis Gurianov in the postgame interviews.
By the way, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen Gury do his moonwalk.
The Ottawa Senators host the 2017 Scotiabank NHL 100 Classic Dec. 16, and Parliament Hill is putting on the dog. NHL.com has video of the opening ceremonies from the Canada 150 Rink, plus a time-lapse of the ice build at Lansdowne Park. Enjoy.