Heading into the season, Dallas Stars fans were confident that this would be the year that Jason Dickinson, one of the teams’ top prospects, would make the leap from the AHL to become an NHL regular. Instead, he spent most of the year bouncing between the two leagues, and even though he played in 27 NHL games, he only managed to score two assists and no goals.
Having such a low-scoring rookie season has to be painful, but Dickinson is instead trying to look at the positives from his time up in Dallas:
“For the most part, I don’t think it’s played out exactly how I would imagined, but I mean, I’m still in the lineup, I’m still playing games in the NHL,” [Dickinson] said. “So, I got to take every little bit that I can, and just because I had this plan in my head that I’d be an NHL regular and I’d be scoring all these goals and putting up all these points, that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. So, I just got to go out there and try to take advantage of the time.”
Part of Dickinson’s struggles might be due to the steep learning curve between the AHL and the NHL. As head coach Ken Hitchcock said when asked about the team’s young players:
“This is a really tough league at this time of year. I think what all of them have found out is that post-trade deadline, the temperature goes way up, and I think they’re all finding that and it’s been a real battle for him to keep up.
”They’ve done fine. But it’s also a very serious league from the trade deadline on, and I think they’re finding that -- that every game seems like a single-elimination playoff game. And even during the games, themselves, especially in the third period, the temperature goes way, way up and it’s good learning curve for them. It’ll help them in their careers.”
You can read more on Jason Dickinson and what he’s taken away from this year in Scott Burnside’s piece here.
In case you want to relive Tuesday’s win over the San Jose Sharks, here’s Sean Shapiro’s 20/20:
It's impossible not to root for Mike McKenna, and on Tuesday night he came to the rescue https://t.co/9Jj1pZ4H1z— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) April 4, 2018
...and here’s Scott Burnside’s Five Takeaways:
Pretty good night for Mike McKenna in his first NHL action in more than three years and good response from @DallasStars to help get McKenna his first NHL win in more than four years. https://t.co/EvB7KCumeI— Scott Burnside (@OvertimeScottB) April 4, 2018
The Stars will need to sign a backup goaltender for next season, whether it’s Kari Lehtonen or someone else. As Mike Heika writes, the team better hope they make the right choice. [SportsDay DFW]
Sad night in Cedar Park last night, as the Texas Stars fell to the Stockton Heat in overtime:
Jason Dickinson scored twice in his return to the lineup but the Stockton Heat stayed alive in the playoff chase with a 4-3 overtime win on Wednesday.— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) April 5, 2018
Read: https://t.co/4esXElCUzj pic.twitter.com/GNiev8VmFq
There were only three games yesterday across the NHL, but three of the six teams who played were from the Central:
- The St. Louis Blues failed to gain ground in the playoff race as the Chicago Blackhawks scored in the final seconds of regulation, winning 4-3 after trailing 3-1 earlier in the game. [Second City Hockey]
- Later, the Minnesota Wild would drop a 3-1 decision to the Anaheim Ducks, who have now clinched a playoff spot. [NHL]
He may not be getting much Calder Memorial Trophy buzz, but the Winnipeg Jets’s Kyle Connor has had a fantastic rookie season. [The Hockey News]
Tyler Dellow revisits some preseason questions about the Central Division, taking what is sure to be an unpopular stance on Stars’ fan favorite Julius Honka:
Central Division:— dellowhockey (@dellowhockey) April 4, 2018
1. Was Colleague Rutherford right about the Blues?
2. Did MacKinnon figure out how to score?
3. Did Mason save the Jets?
4. Did Julius Honka SIUTBOHC?
5. Did the Hawks collapse?
6. Did Preds solve their PP?
7. Did Minny maintain s%? https://t.co/SI13xfdl4Q
It’s a sad year for old-school hockey fans - NHL greats such as Gordie Howe and Maurice “Rocket” Richard will no longer be on the Stanley Cup as the latest ring is removed. [Associated Press]
As we get closer to the NHL offseason, the biggest question on everyone’s minds (besides who wins the Stanley Cup) is where John Tavares will play next year:
“The fan base has been tremendous since I got here,” Tavares said. “People say certain things. I hope it all works out, too, and I’m back as well."https://t.co/nhTNDZqsXY— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 4, 2018
Which head coaches could be let go this offseason? Jared Clinton looks at nine names and makes the argument as to why they will or will not be fired. [The Hockey News]
The ESPN crew also tackles the head coach chopping block question, as well as discussing the NHL playoffs and more in a Q&A panel. [ESPN]
The regular season is almost over, and people still have no idea who the league MVP is going to be:
Hart to tell: Crowded NHL MVP race has a dozen candidates https://t.co/cY2QaST4jj— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) April 4, 2018
Misery always feels better when you have company. The Calgary Flames also had a collapse that took them out of the playoffs, and their GM is (obviously) not happy about it. [Sportsnet]
Thanks to a 4-2 loss against the Ottawa Senators last night, the Buffalo Sabres have secured the worst record in the NHL for the third time in the last five years. [Die by the Blade]
You’ll never guess which 2017 UFA signing lived up to their contract the most this season. Hint: They may or may not be pictured below:
Most of the top 2017 free agent signings went bust this season, but @THNMattLarkin names five who delivered on hype or offered bang for buck: https://t.co/hjlMffnQrM pic.twitter.com/uAStJnvWUF— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) April 4, 2018
Everyone, I present to you the greatest game ever:
Let's play "Six degrees of Mike McKenna" https://t.co/EfeaxvzroQ— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) April 4, 2018