The Dallas Stars haven’t opened the season with zero points in three games since they moved to Texas. It’s not an ideal way to begin, but it’s also a long season.
The problem with the Central Division is that a slow start can make the season even longer – especially when your highest-paid players are Exhibit A. They place high on Sean Shapiro’s list of areas where immediate improvement is needed:
On Saturday, the St. Louis Blues made big plays to complete a comeback against Dallas. The Red Wings did similar things on Sunday and found a way to win.
When Dallas needed big plays, two players stepped up – Roope Hintz and Mattias Janmark. One night earlier, it was Miro Heiskanen.
I shouldn’t be able to count on one hand the number of players stepping up in the third period. That’s the problem.
Sean runs down other common inefficiencies in the first three games – including a lack of discipline when it comes to handing out penalties:
With 16 seconds remaining in the first period, John Klingberg was called for an interference penalty that Stars coach Jim Montgomery readily admitted after the game should have been avoided. Dallas simply needed to read the situation better.
In the second period, the Stars were twice called for too-many-men on the ice penalties while they were already shorthanded. That’s unacceptable and continued to sap the Stars’ chances of getting any relevant-to-consistent even-strength play.
There’s more behind the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]
Mike Heika has posted his own thoughts on a frustrating first weekend of hockey.
'We just need to be better': Stars let lead, game slip away in Detroit https://t.co/fMi3iG2H0F via @NHLdotcom— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) October 7, 2019
Razor has some tips for turning it around.
Do it for Roope Hintz, who is still playing like a gift from above, and who is also helping Mattias Janmark return to form in the bargain.
Around The League(s)
- The Winnipeg Jets suffered a 4-1 strafing by the New York Islanders on a slow Sunday in the NHL. [Lighthouse Hockey]
Mika Zibanejad did something remarkable on Saturday, and it wasn’t just scoring eight points in two games for the New York Rangers.
Zibanejad’s performance on Saturday is just the 14th time it has happened over the past 10 years.https://t.co/r2dHgkCaWa— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) October 6, 2019
You know who else is off to a great start? Kevin Shattenkirk. The Tampa Bay Lightning’s latest value acquisition just hit the top 10 on the fantasy waiver wire.
#FantasyHockey top 10 waiver wire:— NHL Fantasy on Ice (@NHLFantasy) October 7, 2019
-Must-add: #LGRW Bertuzzi, #AllCaps Vrana
-#GoBolts Shattenkirk thriving on top pair
-Two hot-starting #Sabres50 players
Full list on @NHLdotcom: https://t.co/6XFkuDKleJ
The Detroit Red Wings are probably going to get even better, and soon.
The 2019-20 rookie class is impressive, but there are many key names that didn't make NHL opening night rosters. Here's a look at a few of the top players you'll see called up to the NHL sooner rather than later.https://t.co/QlWA6xA8EC— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) October 7, 2019
Speaking of the future of hockey, the league is working quietly but diligently on tending its adoption in China.
As the NHL works to expand its presence in China, it knows it will be a gradual process. For now, the focus is on teaching kids the game and growing their love for the sport https://t.co/Dfo9ulgKXv— SI NHL (@SI_NHL) October 6, 2019
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
The Texas Stars suffered a late-game heartbreak of their own on Saturday with a 5-3 loss to the Manitoba Moose.
Texas Stars Make Progress But Still Fall 5-3 to Moose https://t.co/6KETpkcRAG #txstars pic.twitter.com/nvX6UYvEBK— 100 Degree Hockey (@100degreehockey) October 6, 2019
Head coach Derek Laxdal is still encouraged by his squad’s progress.
Coach Laxdal on tonight's performance from the #txstars,— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) October 6, 2019
"They battled back and got it to 3-3. I thought we deserved a little better fate than the ending." pic.twitter.com/oaG9JTlquN
In case you missed it – a moment of happiness brought to you by the Erik Karlsson family. Enjoy.
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To my beautiful wife for doing everything in her power to bring our beautiful little baby girl in to this world, never have I met a more determined or stronger person than you. It hasn’t been easy but after the rain finally our little rainbow arrived. Love you both more than I could ever imagine.