The preseason expectations for the Dallas Stars have been both exciting and worrying for their fans. On one hand, it’s pretty thrilling to realize that smart money is giving them a long, approving look. On the other, the Victory Green gang hasn’t made consecutive playoff appearances since 2008, and their Central Division competitors keep getting better in enviable ways.
Saad Yousuf writes that Jim Montgomery has been here before, and his philosophy and inclinations could what makes the difference this time.
New Jersey Devils blueliner Will Butcher was a junior on the University of Denver Pioneers’ 2015-16 squad, when they overcame an early slump only to suffer a heartbreaking Frozen Four loss. As a rising senior and soon-to-be captain, he stated in one interview that Denver would win the next year. Montgomery knew what to do next:
“He gave the team to the team,” Butcher said. “We had great leaders, and they kept everyone accountable. That’s what good, championship teams do. The players hold each other accountable.... That’s what good coaching is. He realized the team could handle it.”
For his part, Tyler Seguin is already thinking about how to use the pain of Round 2, Game 7 to the Stars’ advantage:
“There are things that you keep in the back of your mind, but we learned a lot from St. Louis and last year’s playoff run,” Seguin said. “We use that, definitely, in the back of our mind to motivate us all summer, and now it’s putting the new pieces together and start off right. It’s a new year.”
And Montgomery is ready to unleash a fully operational Process:
“It’s fuel for the fire once we get there because we won’t let things go. No detail left unturned once we get there,” Montgomery said. “But we’ve got to be a really good hockey team and believe in our process to get back there. It’s the same thing here (as it was in Denver). We need to be a better regular-season team, and then once we get to the playoffs, then that fuel for the fire comes from what happened last year.”
There’s more behind the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]
Speaking of new starts, the Stars beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1 last night, and the coach approves.
Surely you, too, can sign off on this kind of display from Jason Dickinson.
Jason Dickinson finishes a shorthanded breakaway. pic.twitter.com/EtDtM3AZUI— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) September 25, 2019
And incipient Texas Stars starter Landon Bow ended his preseason in style.
Assuming plans stay the same for the rest of the week, Landon Bow has finished his NHL preseason with 48 saves on 49 shots.— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) September 25, 2019
Meanwhile, Dan Rosen talks about the Stanley Cup hangover and Joe Pavelski as an impact addition in his latest Mailbag.
Mailbag: Coyotes will surprise, Panthers' playoff expectations https://t.co/I7GepQXT8v— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) September 25, 2019
Around The League(s)
And speaking of getting better in enviable ways, the Blues have traded for and signed Justin Faulk to a multiyear deal. Here’s how the deal breaks down.
Lots of different angles to examine in the Justin Faulk trade, and it's all covered here in this @TheAthleticNHL Roundtable featuring @SaraCivian, @domluszczyszyn, @OvertimeScottB, @jprutherford, @coreypronman and @eduhatschek: https://t.co/z6u3N7MRJG— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) September 24, 2019
After missing most of training camp, Brock Boeser is on the injured list – and the Vancouver Canucks hope he’ll be ready when the season starts.
Brock Boeser is in the NHL concussion protocol, but the Canucks hope he will be ready for the season opener against the Oilers at Rogers Place on Oct. 2 https://t.co/MBSamnOR81— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) September 24, 2019
Auston Matthews is in a spot of trouble back in Arizona, and it’s kind of funny in the way that’s not.
Auston Matthews is facing a disorderly conduct charge stemming from an incident last May in his hometown of Scottsdale, Ariz. https://t.co/TjA61tWRLN— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) September 24, 2019
Meanwhile, there are still a few PTOs in preseason camp. Which ones could still make a team?
Hockey mascot and eldritch horror Gritty celebrated his first birthday yesterday. Here’s an interesting look into his hometown appeal, from his hometown paper.
"Birthed into this world a year ago upon a wave of shock and horror not seen since Rosemary’s Baby or Eraserhead, in just 12 months, Gritty has come to exemplify everything about Philly that Philadelphians love." — @FarFarrAway has a bday ode for Gritty https://t.co/qzYm5k4zxO— The Philadelphia Inquirer (@PhillyInquirer) September 24, 2019
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
The T-Stars are in training camp!
Tye Felhaber and the rest of the #txstars are through Day 1 of training camp.— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) September 24, 2019
The team takes the ice in San Antonio for a preseason game in exactly 2 days. Hope you're ready @SARampage pic.twitter.com/BkUyQqHNnz
Stephen Meserve has posted a quick wrap-up from Day One.
Just do what it says. Enjoy.