The Dallas Stars suffered another bad loss last night as the playoffs-desperate Edmonton Oilers overkilled them 7-1. It was ugly, but it was not unfortunate: It’s just time to face the fact that this is who the Stars are right now, writes Mike Heika of The Dallas Morning News:
...This didn't happen because of injuries, this didn't happen because of bad luck. The Stars were exposed as a bad team this year because of bad decisions, bad performances and inherent holes. If this was all about the injuries, why not bring back the coaching staff and the two goalies and take another shot next year?
Why? Because they know it won't work. They know the plan is flawed. And they know they are the ones who have to fix it.
GM Jim Nill will have his hands as full as he ever has during his fifth summer with the Stars. Can he find the solutions the team needs? The outlook is unclear:
But here's the thing, and I don't know that there's any way around this. Nill wanted Alain Vigneault last time and got Lindy Ruff. He wanted Cam Talbot last time and got [Antti] Niemi. He wanted to "win now" and transition to a younger future, so he has gone from Alex Goligoski, Trevor Daley, Sergei Gonchar, Jordie Benn and Brenden Dillon on defense to [John] Klingberg, [Esa] Lindell, [Dan] Hamhuis and a handful of sure things that have now turned into unknowns.
Maybe all of this is ready to come together, or maybe the transition of the defense will never really line up with the prime of Jamie Benn, [Tyler] Seguin and [Jason] Spezza. That's the problem with sports, the best laid plans don't always materialize.
Read and discuss. [SportsDayDFW]
Elsewhere in Heika: Last night’s game found a deeper place than rock bottom, according to Seguin.
Mark Spector called this reversal of fortune “avert-your-eyes uncomfortable.” [Sportsnet]
In lighter news, last night marked the 900th NHL game for No. 90. Congratulations, Speznasty.
Tonight's game is Jason Spezza's 900th in the NHL. Congrats! pic.twitter.com/eYCpBkvyYy— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) March 15, 2017
The Stars have announced the signing of St. Lawrence University LHD Gavin Bayreuther.
The #Stars have come to terms with UFA defenseman Gavin Bayreuther from St. Lawrence University, expected to be official tomorrow.— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) March 15, 2017
Sean Shapiro talks about the signing in his post-game thoughts (he expects Bayreuther to join the Texas Stars on an ATO for the rest of the season).
VIDEO: Stars-Oilers postgame thoughts (with more discussion about a UFA signing and Twitter questions) https://t.co/TDGagWSH4u— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) March 15, 2017
Last night, at the races:
- Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals found their way back to the win (and goal) column by taking down the Minnesota Wild 4-2. [Japers’ Rink]
- Johnny Oduya scored his first goal since returning to his old team, and the Chicago Blackhawks leapfrogged the Wild for first in the #MDK with a 4-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens. [Second City Hockey]
Meanwhile, John Klingberg makes a list of players who have had the most disappointing 2016-17 season. [The Hockey News]
Sports Illustrated and photographer David E. Klutho offer a long last look at Joe Louis Arena in photos old and new.
Team USA superstar and Boston Pride forward Brianna Decker is now league MVP, as voted by her fellow players in the 2016-17 NWHL Awards. [NWHL]
The Buffalo Beauts’ Harrison Browne, the first openly transgender athlete in professional U.S. team sports, will retire from the NWHL and join the league’s board of directors.
What’s holding up the Winter Olympics decision? Elliotte Friedman looks at the evidence in his latest 30 Thoughts. [Sportsnet]
Friedge also talks to
participants survivors in Sunday’s eight-OT, 8-1/2 hour Norwegian League game between the Sparta Warriors and Storhamar Dragons that may be the longest in hockey history.
The Texas Stars’ next road trip begins tonight in Chicago.
Finally: A hockey fan has a tattoo of one of Ilya Bryzgalov ’s most memorable quotes from a bottomless cup of them. The best part is Bryz’s reaction. Enjoy.