Bad news first: The Dallas Stars are the NHL’s lowest-scoring team in the opening frame. Worse news next: They just can’t seem to rally past a deficit in the first 20 minutes, and everything they try seems to make the problem worse.
The Dallas Morning News’ Gerry Fraley examines the 5-2 loss to the currently hapless Chicago Blackhawks as a case in point:
...It marked the second time in the last three games that the Stars have had a multigoal deficit after the first. They lost both those games and have dropped five of six overall.
”We’ve tried to do a couple different things to kick-start it and score more in the first,’’ coach Jim Montgomery said Friday. “It seems like when our focus goes to that, we give up goals. [Thursday] was a prime example of that.”
It doesn’t help when your best players take themselves off the ice – but it also doesn’t help when even their first-period stats look like this:
Alexander Radulov, who took an undisciplined penalty that led to a Chicago goal in the first, leads the Stars in first-period goals with three. Jamie Benn, who sets the tone for the offense, has two with one assist.
There’s more under the paywall. [SportsDayDFW]
Will a lineup shuffle help as the Stars meet the Minnesota Wild?
In the “better news” category, John Klingberg is still back.
John Klingberg is a fine athlete. But the reason he is consistently in discussions for the Norris Trophy is because he reads the game well, has fantastic hands, and is really, really smart. https://t.co/bfbZBbdMIm— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) December 21, 2018
Need more proof that Miro Heiskanen is a matter-of-fact Finnish rainicorn?
Miro Heiskanen has played 809 minutes of hockey this season. Closest other rookie is Dahlin at 719 minutes. No other rookie is above 650.— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) December 21, 2018
Around The League(s)
Matt Dumba will be out for tonight’s Stars-Wild game, and perhaps indefinitely.
Coach Sullivan on Jamie Oleksiak: “He is out with a concussion... We will try to spread out the workload [in his absence].” pic.twitter.com/KEIpwzpSR8— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 20, 2018
Somehow it’s never the wrong time to bring this one back.
Tom Wilson always has the disoriented look of someone who's just taken a cheap shot to the head from Tom Wilson pic.twitter.com/oQu1HpvfQz— Namita (@nnstats) April 29, 2018
How will Seattle’s next team go about branding itself? John Matisz talked with design experts Todd Radom and Bill Frederick about what not to wear.
Meanwhile, come-from-behind scoring, Carolina Hurricanes cellys, and Alex Ovechkin rank among the NHL gifts that keep on giving.
Christmas may be a few days away, but the NHL has already handed out gifts for hockey fans this season! https://t.co/JjvoVO501X— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) December 21, 2018
A sports unity campaign results in comedy, as the Buffalo Beauts and the Buffalo Bandits update a classic. Enjoy.