In the NHL, stats people, coaches, and front office executives may tell fans not to put too much stock into the final outcomes of games in the preseason.
Maybe that’s because most teams rarely, if ever, play with their full strength until the regular season starts as they try to make it through without injuries to key players. Maybe it’s because these contests offer teams the chance to evaluate young talent alongside NHL players and help them make roster and player development decisions. Maybe it’s the small sample size that doesn’t allow for any statistical analysis of worth to be used to project how a team could do in the regular season.
Or maybe preseason games are so lopsided towards the home side that it’s not a fair assessment of either side’s capability.
As the first two preseason games the Dallas Stars have played in have shown, the home side tends to bring more of their top NHL talent in their lineups. Probably to try to get a win for the home side that is paying to watch preseason games, the die-hards that will sit through sloppy hockey because they’re desperate to see their favorite team in action again. The visitor side tends to bring more of their bottom six NHL forwards, middle four blueliners, and then a slew of players they want to be able to evaluate in game situations.
Tonight’s contest will be no different.
Dallas will bring many of their top six forwards and some of their most exciting prospects to Tulsa when they take on the Florida Panthers at BOK Center at 7 PM CDT. Unfortunately, neither team will have a broadcast feed for the game, so your best bet on following the action is to follow the usual Dallas beat writers at the game - Mark Stepneski, Mike Heika, Sean Shapiro and Matt DeFranks will all be putting out their thoughts and observations on Twitter during the action.
Jamie Benn - Radek Faksa - Alexander Radulov
Gemel Smith - Jason Spezza - Brett Ritchie
Remi Elie - Devin Shore - Erik Condra
Michael Mersch - Justin Dowling - Denis Gurianov
Gavin Bayreuther - Julius Honka
Joel Hanley - Roman Polak
John Nyberg - Reece Scarlett
Colton Point and Landon Bow will split time in the net.
Frank Vatrano - Henrik Borgstrom - Troy Brouwer
Maxim Mamin - Juho Lammikko - Anthony Greco
Dryden Hunt - Mark Letestu - Owen Tippett
Michael Haley - Derek MacKenzie - Colton Sceviour
Ian McCoshen - Alexander Petrovic
Riley Stillman - Jacob MacDonald
Julian Melchiori - Bogdan Kiselevich
James Reimer and Michael Hutchinson will share the net.