The Dallas Stars overperformed this season, and the stats back that up. With a rookie coach, a teenager among its top defenders, and often just one scoring line, they made it to Game 7 of the second round.
And that’s the nightmare that haunts many Stars fans. The Victory Green gang did the same in 2016 only to start their summer early for the next two seasons. How do they prepare to avoid a return to postseason exile?
For starters, the Stars need to trust their young and developmental players much more than they have in the recent past, writes Sean Shapiro:
[Roope] Hintz’ emergence is proof that a younger forward can grow and establish themselves as a key cog if given the chance. Jason Dickinson did the same, finally having a coach who actually trusted him, while the Stars now have a handful of younger forwards in need of that vote of confidence.
Denis Gurianov and Joel L’Esperance both played NHL games this season, and they should play even more next season. The Stars’ ultimate demise came when 19-year-old Robert Thomas burned them in double overtime on a faceoff play. That play alone should be a reminder that 2018 first-round pick Ty Dellandrea should at least be given a full nine-game experiment to win an NHL job next season.
Largely, he notes, that applies to the defense as well – even as the team considers a possible vacancy in its top pairs:
In an ideal world, Stephen Johns would be that player. He was slated to be [Miro] Heiskanen’s partner this season, but his future is murky due to post-traumatic headaches that have ailed him for more than a year now. Out of necessity, Dallas has to plan for life without Johns. If he’s able to play and is back to a level he reached two seasons ago it’s gravy at this point.
Top-four defensemen aren’t often available; they are a valuable commodity. But Tyler Myers and Anton Stralman both hit free agency this summer and could help fill that void in Dallas. The answers on the third pair are already abundantly available in-house; that was proven when 14 different defensemen played for the Stars this season.
Superb goaltending by Ben Bishop and Anton Khudobin propelled (and often carried) the Stars to the postseason, but even that could use some tweaking to manage Bish’s workload:
Bishop played 46 regular-season games this season, a number reduced by injury. Forty-five games is the number the Stars should aim for next season when it comes to Bishop’s starts, if he’s going to be expected to play a significant number of playoff games.
There’s much more behind the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]
There will be much more about the IIHF World Championships below, but we should all be pleased to follow John Klingberg and Radek Faksa into extra hockey.
John Klingberg is going to play for Sweden at the World Championship.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) May 10, 2019
Radek Faksa will play for Czech Republic.
Whither Mats Zuccarello? The fans are already in love with him, but a new contract for the explosive winger will take some doing.
Does the Stars’ recent success filter down to the AHL and prospects? Let’s discuss Ryan Kennedy’s assessment.
Ranking all 31 NHL organizations on success, right now: Stanley Cup playoffs, AHL playoffs, junior playoffs and more https://t.co/uBjCthQjMF— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) May 11, 2019
Around The League(s)
5 Keys: Blues at Sharks, Game 1 https://t.co/ymMQTbvfyI— David Satriano (@davidsatriano) May 11, 2019
The Stanley Cup is very sweet, and all that...but much of yesterday’s big news came from the 2019 World Championships:
The IIHF has eliminated the overtime shootout and made changes to the semifinal format.
The new rules apparently are a test for this tournament, but there’s already support for adopting them permanently:
Considering the last 2 major women’s tournaments were decided by a shootout, I hope the new rule in this years men’s world champs jumps to the women’s game too: OT will be played until someone scores, and the game won’t go to a shootout to decide the winner.— Blayre Turnbull (@katbt617) May 10, 2019
Even with Jack Hughes on deck, Team USA lost its opening game to the home team.
Kevin Fiala made news with a scoring rampage as Switzerland defeated Italy.
Minnesota Wild forward Kevin Fiala used a hat trick to help Switzerland dominate Italy at the worlds.https://t.co/zgV6QvQVv0— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 11, 2019
The Worlds giveth, and the Worlds taketh away: John Tavares is leaving early with an injury.
Catch up with Liam Kirk: The English teenager who made history at the NHL Draft in Dallas speaks out about his nation’s emergence in international hockey.
Meet Team GB , in the hockey World Championships for the 1st time since ‘94— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) May 9, 2019
“There’s a lot of pessimistic people in the UK..Great Britain isn't a hockey country. It's a football country, it's a rugby country. But I think we might surprise a few people” https://t.co/icely5ivV4
Yesterday was the 49th anniversary of this. Even if you root against the Bruins, it’s hard not to love Bobby Orr – especially when he was dunking on the Blues. Enjoy.