Is The Process the problem? The Dallas Stars’ bad streak continued with a 4-0 matinee loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Canadian Thanksgiving. Their fecklessness has left both fans and experts searching for answers.
Head coach Jim Montgomery and his system got much of the credit for the Stars’ playoffs-worthy performance last season. But the system is looking decidedly threadbare as the team struggles to execute what passes for a game plan, writes Sean Shapiro:
Montgomery doesn’t coach on results — he’s made that abundantly clear throughout the season. The process and how the team is playing are the most important things.
That approach works well when a team is actually winning games from time to time. But as the Stars fall deeper into a hole, results have to matter. The way a coach views effort or execution isn’t measured into playoff standings.
It doesn’t help that the team’s best players have become part of the issue:
[John] Klingberg is the best example of that after he was called for hooking in the first period on Monday. Last season, Klingberg committed six minor penalties in 64 games. Through seven games this season, he’s already committed four infractions.
In Klingberg’s case — and this also applies to several other players — it’s been more of a case of getting caught out of position and chasing the game. When a player does that, he ends up getting forced to hold or use his stick to hold off a scoring chance.
There’s more behind the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]
The Stars know they’re bad at managing games right now. What will they do about it?
“I thought we skated and competed tonight”: Monty with the media.
Around The League(s)
#Death In The Afternoon
Can you believe all those afternoon games, as if anyone actually got a day off?
- The Chicago Blackhawks grabbed their first win of 2019-20 with a 3-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers and a 27-save performance from Corey Crawford. [Second City Hockey]
- The Minnesota Wild broke their own duck by shutting out the Ottawa Senators 2-0, with Victor Rask getting the GWG on his first tally of the season. [Hockey Wilderness]
- The St. Louis Blues dropped a 3-2 overtime decision after a stunning late third-period rally by the New York Islanders. [St. Louis Game Time]
- And the Colorado Avalanche remain undefeated after a 6-3 thumping of the Washington Capitals in their first road game. [Mile High Hockey]
It could be worse. You could be a New Jersey Devils fan.
It’s always never too early to start looking at the next NHL Draft. Prospect maven Corey Pronman has some thoughts.
Thank the hockey gods for Roope Hintz, at least....
Meanwhile, the CBC is thankful for Wayne Gretzky on a fortuitous anniversary.
40 years ago today, Wayne Gretzky scored his first NHL goal— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) October 14, 2019
He'd go on to score 893 more over the course of his 20 seasons in the league https://t.co/vbXznCqBI8
Also at HNIC: more goalies-are-voodoo fun courtesy of the Calgary Flames’ David Rittich.
Rittich requires 2 pucks off his head from his goalie coach before games and only allows himself cans of Coca-Cola on game days https://t.co/9iRfT0GnDv— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) October 14, 2019
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park (and Beautiful Boise)
Elsewhere, the Idaho Steelheads are going all out for their season opener this Friday.
NEWS: We're hosting our own community 'tailgate' experience, and it's FREE!— Idaho Steelheads (@Steelheads) October 14, 2019
Welcome in the new season with the official Steelheads Fan Fest this Friday from 5:00-7:00 p.m. to kick-off the 2019-20 Home Opener!
DETAILS: https://t.co/FitzU7EsFh | #CityOfFish pic.twitter.com/CZw5cV6qmt
Here is a picture of Tyler Seguin as the very young captain of the Whitby Wildcats. Have a better one.