Since Rick Bowness took over as interim head coach for the Dallas Stars, there have been some noticeable changes in how each player has been used. For instance, the “FCC” line of Radek Faksa, Blake Comeau, and Andrew Cogliano have seen increased ice time under Bowness, as well as some trust in the offensive zone:
[Jim] Montgomery rarely used Cogliano-Faksa-Comeau in the offensive zone, and just 20.8% of faceoffs were taken in the O-zone during the season’s first two months. Bowness, meanwhile, has deployed them almost equally in the offensive (48.8%) and defensive zones (51.2%).
Conversely, other players have been used less and less, most notably Roope Hintz. The Stars’ forward has seen his ice time drop by about two minutes since the coaching change despite leading the team in goal scoring:
When adjusted for the one game in which Hintz played one 20-second shift and left because of injury, he ranks ninth among Stars forwards in 5 on 5 ice time.
...in Saturday’s overtime win in St. Louis, Hintz played 17:22 at all strengths, the second-most since Bowness took over and in a game that Bowness didn’t actually coach because of an illness.
Who else has been affected the most by the coaching change? You can read more from Matthew DeFranks here.
Around the League
Sunday night delivered a Central double-header with two intra-division games:
- The Winnipeg Jets moved into the first Wild Card spot last night thanks to a 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. [Second City Hockey]
- Speaking of wild, the Minnesota Wild gave the Colorado Avalanche their fourth win in a row, falling 3-2. [Mile High Hockey]
Would you rather have a breakaway or a two-on-one? Justin Bourne discusses this and more:
The Edmonton Oilers are giving Darnell Nurse a new contract extension that will take him to UFA upon expiration:
EDM and pending RFA D Darnell Nurse are finalizing a two-year contract extension with an expected AAV at a shade higher than $5.5M.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 10, 2020
Here are the other RFA defenseman who are in line for an extension:
The 2020 RFA class has a strong contingent of defensemen, including a handful of late-blooming young stars. Here's a look at 10 of the best options heading into the summer.https://t.co/2WI2BskqNO— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) February 9, 2020
Will Alex Ovechkin eventually set the NHL career goals record? Only time will tell: