Believe it or not, icings were not a problem the Dallas Stars had only under Ken Hitchcock. In fact, the Stars have led the league in icings for three consecutive seasons, going back to the widely successful 2015-16 season, and are currently sitting in the league lead yet again this year.
But not all icings are necessarily bad, at least not in the eyes of the Stars’ coaching staff:
“A good icing is you’re tired, you need a blow and you’ve been in your end for more than eight seconds, it’s usually a good icing,” Stars coach Jim Montgomery said. “A bad icing is you have a play to make and you don’t make the right decision, just send the puck down carelessly and we are in our end for another face-off.”
Sean Shapiro broke down the Stars’ icings, categorizing them into groups such as “chip and chase” or plain old “dumb.” But perhaps the most interesting takeaway is what happens after the Stars ice the puck:
The key here is the face-offs, and the Stars trust that they’ll do the right thing on defensive zone draws. Of their 163 icings this season, only two have led to goals against. They’ve also only taken two penalties in the immediate aftermath of an icing, which is even more impressive when you consider that the Stars have been trying to get rid of the undisciplined penalties in their game.
You can read more behind the paywall here.
Good news everyone:
On Hanzal: “We got really good news there. His doctor and him spoke, he’s cleared. We think he’s gonna be a player [Friday] but I’m not gonna say 100% because you never know what happens in Thursday’s practice but he had a big smile on his face today.”— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) December 4, 2018
Final decision Thursday.
With Martin Hanzal finally healthy again, here’s what that means for the rest of the Stars roster:
With Hanzal cleared Stars will have to make another roster move. Seems like it’s a decision between sending Roope Hintz to the AHL or waiving Gemel Smith— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) December 4, 2018
While all eyes have been on Miro Heiskanen during John Klingberg’s injury, it’s actually been Esa Lindell who has emerged as the number one defender for Dallas: [NHL]
Note to owners: don’t hire Anton Khudobin to your front office.
The guys had some fun at practice today holding a Dallas Stars Draft with Bish and Khudobin picking teams.— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) December 4, 2018
"Bish is a much better GM than Khudobin. Khudobin didn't draft a defenseman until the second to last round." pic.twitter.com/oGgHCkVHbt
- The Minnesota Wild snapped a three-game losing streak while handing the Vancouver Canucks their 12th loss in 13 games with a 3-2 victory. [Hockey Wilderness]
- In a similarly close game, the Winnipeg Jets scored on the empty net to put away the New York Islanders 3-1. [Lighthouse Hockey]
- The Colorado Avalanche crawled back from a 3-0 deficit to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but ultimately fell 6-3. [Pensburgh]
If that last score sounds familiar, it’s because it is:
Pens/Avs season series: in both games home team jumps out to a 3-0 lead, then the visitor ties it 3-3. Then the home team scores 3 more to make it 6-3. Pretty wild how similar both games played out, with each team taking a win.
(Also throw in a natural hat trick by a Penguins player for each game, this time courtesy of Patric Hornqvist. He set a new record for fastest natural hat trick by a Penguin in franchise history.)
As tough as the Central is, I’m sure glad the Stars only have six teams to compete with instead of seven. I sure hope that never changes:
You’ve almost certainly heard this by now, but...
Greg Wyshnyski tries his best to be a cynic when it comes to the Seattle announcement, but ultimately fails: [ESPN]
With Seattle joining the Pacific, the Arizona Coyotes will shift over into the Central starting in the 2021-22 season:
The Seattle franchise will begin play in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference and the @ArizonaCoyotes will realign to the Central Division. https://t.co/gYSiUWAreM #NHLSeattle pic.twitter.com/bT9myflZLF— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 4, 2018
And you thought everyone was done with the William Nylander articles, didn’t you?
Can Maple Leafs make salary cap work after signing Nylander? https://t.co/KYuLm8tRMu— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) December 4, 2018
Denis Gurianov gets a shoutout as one of Ryan Kennedy’s prospects to watch: [The Hockey News]
Sometimes, we forget that hockey exists not only outside of the NHL, but also outside of men’s sports. So with that in mind...