The Dallas Stars played a great deal of bonus hockey during the 2019 playoffs, and Derek Laxdal turned out to be one big reason why.
Throughout the season, the Texas Stars head coach lost key players like Roope Hintz, Jason Dickinson, Gavin Bayreuther and Denis Gurianov, whether temporarily or permanently. Those losses added up – and probably cost the team in its own bid to make the Calder Cup playoffs. In his newest Shap Shots, Sean Shapiro takes a look at how their development in Cedar Park made them ready to play with the big club:
“Obviously from my side of it, that’s what we are all about in Austin,” Laxdal said. “Developing players and getting them ready to play in the regular season or getting them ready to play when they are a black ace in the playoffs. So for me to go in and see these players have success, it makes you feel pretty good about your coaching staff and what you’re doing down there in Texas.
“So even though we had a tough year this year, we look at the players we are trying to develop moving forward — Joel L’Esperance for example… When we have a year like we did this year with some injuries in Dallas and some of your best players going up, we tried to make (the) best of what we had.”
The goal of most AHL coaches is eventually to graduate to the big league themselves. Shapiro also examined Laxdal’s chances:
Before the Stars hired Jim Montgomery, Laxdal was the only other candidate interviewed for the NHL head coaching job in Dallas. The hope is that as teams look to fill NHL vacancies this summer, the Texas Stars coach’s name will re-surface after AHL graduates helped Dallas pull within inches of advancing to the NHL’s final four.
“I feel I’m on the right track,” Laxdal said. “It’s opportunity, right? You’ve got to find an organization that’s willing to give you a chance to coach at the NHL level, head coach or assistant coach… I feel my four years and what I’ve done in junior and the pro level, I’m ready for the National Hockey League game.”
There’s more behind the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]
I’ll just leave this here. No pressure.
If you think you're ready to revisit Game 7, we've got some great behind-the-scenes content for you.— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) May 20, 2019
"Open Ice: Last Words" takes you back to St. Louis and then takes a look at what the Stars did this past season. @Taylor_Morrison
WATCH: https://t.co/gUMlQEqO9o pic.twitter.com/jNL8pCKoTY
ICYMI, John Klingberg and Radek Faksa are going to the playoffs again...in the IIFH World Championships. Mark Stepneski sums up the games that sent them on.
Klingberg (Sweden) and Faksa (Czech Republic) have both clinched spots in the playoff round of the #IIHFWorlds, which begins on Thursday.— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) May 21, 2019
Klingberg has 2 assists and a plus 4 rating and Faksa has 1G, 3A and a plus 2 rating. https://t.co/WTpZApoyhj
Around The League(s): Postseason Edition
The Sharks could be without three regular players when they try to avoid elimination from the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Blues in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final at Enterprise Center on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS). https://t.co/B6s3NzdmWz— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) May 20, 2019
Meanwhile, Vladimir Tarasenko is snapping a scoring drought at an auspicious time for the Blues.
The timing could not have been better for the Blues.https://t.co/jhHSO8qEBs— #StanleyCup on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) May 20, 2019
What’s next for the Bunch of Jerks? The Carolina Hurricanes want this season’s run of form to define their future.
"We were selling hope before. Now we're selling reality." Where do the Hurricanes go now after their underdog run is over? https://t.co/TyGFgZ0Kyo— SI NHL (@SI_NHL) May 21, 2019
Plenty of Stars fans envy the Winnipeg Jets their strong farm system. Matt Larkin provides a look at its future for you All-Access users.
Draft Preview: The bounty has been deep and plentiful in Winnipeg’s methodic farm system, and the Jets strive to continue adding to crop.— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) May 21, 2019
Read now with All-Access: https://t.co/lBsFoKwlh5
The story of women’s pro hockey has extended beyond the #OneLeague headlines. Anya Battaglino of the NWHL Players’ Association joins the HNIC podcast to discuss the boycott.
Will the NHL step in and help? https://t.co/4OqLlp0e4X— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) May 21, 2019
Montreal Canadiens prospects Joel Teasdale and Cole Fonstad are making noise in the 2019 Memorial Cup.
Ever wondered what would happen if there were literally a thousand pucks on the ice for warmups? It would probably look...exactly like this. Enjoy