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Dallas Stars Daily Links: How The Stars Turned Their Season Around

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Yes, they’re winning more - but how long can it last? Plus, Beast Mode Benn, Miro Heiskanen - Team MVP, and more.

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It’s fun to be a Dallas Stars fan again, so of course the question on many minds is, “How long will it last?” Has the Victory Green gang turned a corner, or is their current success a statistical correction before they inevitably hit another wall?

Sean Shapiro took this question on as part of his latest Mailbag. His answer could provide a thrill of hope for a weary fan base:

In my view, the biggest structural change with the Stars — which comes from both the coaches and the players — comes in the offensive zone, where they’ve gone from playing defense 200 feet away from their net to focusing on offense. This starts with the forecheck, where Dallas was always aggressive, but they actually became aggressive trying to use the forecheck to create instant offense. This was key to unlocking some of the depth scoring.

The team has also adapted to a sliding scale rather than a switch when it comes to the balance of hard work and creativity. Hard work is important, but simply working harder at the same thing doesn’t change anything. Dallas started working smarter in the offensive zone, and there was more of an emphasis on creativity.

He also dives into the issue of who isn’t getting enough credit for their work...

Nationally, it’s still Miro Heiskanen. There should be more hype about his performance this season, and I haven’t seen much of it outside of Dallas.

Locally, I think the contributions of Jamie Oleksiak and Taylor Fedun have flown under the radar. We’ve acknowledged their impact, but at times a team can only be as strong as its third pairing.

...and the Texas Stars’ shocking season to date:

Texas is an example of what happens when you don’t have the organizational depth to surround your prospects. The prospects either sink or swim, and you don’t have the other pieces to keep things moving while they figure it out. In the past, Dallas would place players like Justin Dowling, Travis Morin and Curtis McKenzie in the AHL to keep things moving when the prospects were struggling. They’re gone, and the replacement leadership group hasn’t been as effective with their on-ice play.

I’m not worried about Stars prospects because of a bad AHL record this season, just like I wasn’t overly high on Stars prospects because they went to the Calder Cup Final in 2018. When setting a worrisome scale on prospects, I look at the individual player as opposed to the AHL team’s win-loss record.

There’s much more behind the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]


Stars Stuff

How about that captain, huh? Jeff Odom takes a look at Jamie Benn’s return to greatness.

Because there’s never an overdose of Beast Mode Benn, go ahead and watch that GWG on repeat.

Around The League(s)

#Murder Was The Case

The Toronto Maple Leafs have at least a little to be happy about now that a new bench boss is in town.

The NHL Awards are a big deal, but what’s the value of being The Man on your own team? Jared Clinton takes a look at the difference makers, but he put a spoiler in this photo.

The Philadelphia Flyers’ embodiment of chaos is now a more-or-less official cultural influencer. Take a long look at the weird appeal of Gritty, and mascots like him.

Finally

Ben Bishop turned 33 yesterday. Let us now give thanks. Enjoy.