When you think of the Dallas Stars coaches, you typically think of Jim Montgomery and the others behind the bench. But there is an unsung hero helping out this inexperienced roster when it comes to adapting to playoff hockey: former player Vernon Fiddler.
“He’s the big brother, y’know, where the rest of us are more of the villains -- the bad dads. He’s good at that,” Stars coach Jim Montgomery said of Fiddler, who is listed as an organizational coach.
”Because he was such a good teammate and a good leader, he knows how to support the players and let us know who might be hanging their heads, who might need a pep talk, things like that.”
As a member of the 2016-17 Nashville Predators squad that made the Cup Final, Fiddler gives the Stars a slight edge in understanding the Predators’ system. But he’s also around to simply help the players out whenever they need it:
“I feel like I’m just here to help in any way I can, chat with the guys, talk through stuff, whatever I can do to help,” [Fiddler] said. “[Tyler Seguin] came to me today and needed some help on a couple of things, and I just try to give him some ideas that could help, and that was it. It’s simple stuff like that.”
You can read more in Mike Heika’s piece here.
It’s been an intense, physical series so far. And if Dallas wants to win, they’ll have to adapt accordingly:
With two solid defensive teams going head-to-head, the Stars have battled through a physical grind to split their first two games with Nashville. @MikeHeika says perfecting that style of play might be what it takes to win this series. https://t.co/eJqueJ3G9y— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) April 14, 2019
Of course, one way the Stars could afford that is to start scoring some more. Gee, I wish they had some sort of trade deadline acquisition who could help them with that...
This is sad to hear:
"You take Ben Bishop out you, you've got a little better chance of scoring."— SportsDay Stars (@dmn_stars) April 14, 2019
Jeremy Roenick suggests Predators should injure Stars' Ben Bishop on 20th anniversary of his own gruesome injury @JoshL1220 | #GoStars https://t.co/4wC0r3rbBt
Around the League
Not only does Vegas now have a 2-1 series lead, they’re also getting some reinforcements in the form of KHL superstar Nikita Guesv:
The Colorado Avalanche are getting new blood as well as 2017 fourth overall draft pick Cale Makar signs his ELC:
The first year of Makar’s ELC will be burned — same with Gusev — regardless of whether he plays a playoff game. As far as expansion goes, however...
Makar signed. If he plays one game, COL must protect him in expansion draft https://t.co/5XkVL2FBAZ— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 14, 2019
Finally, Team USA has done it yet again, winning their fifth consecutive gold!