Happy MLK Day everyone! Both football games yesterday were crazy, so this is your slow descent back into sanity if you watched them. The Stars are playing nice and early today (noon Central time) which hopefully will allow them to bounce back from Friday night’s loss sooner rather than later.
During Friday’s Eddie Belfour night ceremony, many longtime Stars fans in attendance brought back the classic, “Eddie’s better” chant that is so strongly linked to Belfour’s awesome performances in the late 90s, especially on the road to the 1999 Stanley Cup. As Mike Heika writes, the Stars can’t get back to those highs without solid to outstanding goaltending:
To get to where this team wants to get, the goaltending has to be better, and the best way to accomplish that goal is on a night-to-night basis. Yes, improving the goals against average that ranked 29th last season (3.17) is crucial. So is lifting a save percentage (.893) that was dead last in the NHL.
That means getting up to 12th (2.72) and 18th (.909) heading into Saturday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche is a huge deal. But just as important is the fact that Ben Bishop needs to exit the ice on more nights than not knowing he was the better goalie.
Ben Bishop has been strongly in the solid camp for much of the season after a shaky-ish start, but Friday night he seemed to be working off some rust as he let in a couple of goals that seemed like saves he would normally make. One bad game does not a season make, however, and a large reason the Stars brought Bishop on board is because of his playoff experience. He has been to the Stanley Cup Finals and has posted a 21-13 record in the playoffs overall, including an impressive 2.09 GAA and a .927 save percentage. More importantly, he knows the attitude that he needs to have to succeed in the postseason:
“You really do have to dumb it down to game by game,” he said. “You have to make the playoffs first. Then, once you get there, you have to adjust. Once you get there, it’s an entirely different game.”
See more over at Mike’s place. [SportsDayDFW]
Razor’s Emporium breaks down the Stars loss to the Avalanche on Friday:
Scott Burnside’s Five Takeaways from Friday’s game include how former Star Patrick Nemeth tried to help his old mates out by taking two consecutive penalties, but Dallas couldn’t take advantage. Some around these parts might take issue with who was playing on the PP, but it is what it is I suppose. [NHL]
Martin Hanzal and Devin Shore have a notably deleterious effect on Jason Spezza's game. pic.twitter.com/jjPtQsLPHM— Robert Tiffin (@RobertTiffin) January 14, 2018
Here’s Ken Hitchcock on the upcoming road trip:
At home or on the road, Hitch says it's not really relevant right now. The Stars need to bring their best game against the Bruins tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/oA1f3gMQex— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) January 14, 2018
This is nice:
Brenden Morrow, tequila connoisseur:
Great experience, bottled my own codigo1530 Origen (Extra Añejo) today at the distillery.… https://t.co/aqkflx3pIS— Brenden Morrow (@Minimo1zero) January 13, 2018
Around the League
Is this the right call?
Cal Ripken Jr. is safe, for now:
Stat update (can you tell there isn’t a lot going on news-wise today in the NHL?):