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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Stars Need More Speed To Run With The Best

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Better passing will help, too, writes Mike Heika. Plus, Joe Thornton hits another milestone, Antti Niemi sets a personal best, and more.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Stars played one of the NHL’s archetypal new-look teams and couldn’t out-speed them. The 2-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning may not have been as bad as the score, but it highlights how much the Stars have to do to regain their own place among the league’s high scorers.

Stars senior staff write Mike Heika suggests that the Stars just aren’t meshing gears well enough to close the deal on scoring opportunities:

Yes, they created scoring opportunities. Yes, they counter-attacked and had the super-fast Lightning on their heels at times. Yes, they did a lot of things that will eventually lead to wins.

But they just seemed a step off too often. They seemed to miss on passes through the neutral zone. They seemed to miss on bang-bang plays at the net. They seemed to miss when they really could have made a play that could have changed the game.

Head coach Jim Montgomery puts his finger on passing:

“Watching us lately you wouldn’t say that’s a strength of our’s,” Montgomery said of the passing game. “It’s something that we’re continuing to get better at. Passing has a lot to do with it, but when you’re not scoring goals it can affect the passing of your team, as well. I don’t think we’re a poor passing team, but the two games before tonight, we didn’t skate well so we’re not making good plays and you start to lose confidence in your ability to make plays, which affects your passing.”

There’s more at Mike’s place. [Dallas Stars]


Stars Stuff

Monty liked what he saw last night (give or take about three goals), but he wants more and better.

After six power plays and no scoring, Jamie Benn got extra-salty in the media scrum.

ICYMI, Sean Shapiro runs down what to expect from Andrew Cogliano:

Around The League(s)

Life And #Death

Joe Thornton scored in his 1,000th game with the San Jose Sharks, which also featured a Tomas Hertl hat trick, and I’ll just let you bat this one out of the park.

Are the Chicago Blackhawks getting better as they get younger? How much can Eric Staal’s scoring slump hurt the Wild? Dan Rosen takes a look in his latest mailbag. [NHL]

Also at NHL.com: Goalie coach David Marcoux name-checks Marty Turco in a discussion of why Gs need great puck skills in a fast (and getting faster) league. [NHL]

Speaking of netminders, Antti Niemi hit a career-high 51 saves in the Montreal Canadiens’ 5-1 win over the Florida Panthers and surely qualifies as one of the season’s big comebacks.

Here’s a great question, and you should share your answers in the comments, too.

Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park

The Texas Stars have made more roster swaps with the Idaho Steelheads. They face the San Diego Gulls tonight at 9 p.m. Central time.

Finally

Former Star Mike McKenna has a new Philadelphia Flyers mask, and it includes a little something for Gritty fans. Enjoy.