The Dallas Stars have so many things going well right now that dwelling on their goal-scoring can seem like nit-picking. But putting more pucks in the back of the net will become even more important as they strive to grab a spot in the playoffs race – and make an impact once they’re in. How are they progressing?
The team’s goal production has increased to 3.3 per game – an almost 30 percent increase since the All-Star break. But interim head coach Rick Bowness doesn’t want the extra scoring to come from a breakdown on the counterattack, writes Stars senior staff writer Mike Heika.
“We’re doing better in overall goal scoring, but I’m not happy with our defensive play,” Bowness said Tuesday. “We’re not as sharp defensively as we were earlier, and I don’t want to lose the commitment that we had back then. I think if you’re looking for analytics and performance, the Carolina game is what we’re looking for. We played great team defense, and that allowed us to create double the scoring chances that they created. That’s what we want to do.”
Bowness admits that the level of play from the competition, the level of energy from his own team because of the schedule, and the level of execution by the players all figure into the outcome — but he added that striving to play that kind of game is what the Stars need to do every night.
Getting offense from defense is the Stars’ new identity, and captain Jamie Benn seems committed to pursuing it:
“If we play our game, and if we frustrate teams, then we can make them make mistakes and take advantage,” Benn said. “When we get our chances, we’ve got to bear down and take advantage of them.”
There’s more at Mike’s place. [Dallas Stars]
The Stars are rolling out some pretty cool swag for Hockey Is For Everyone Night.
Hockey is for Everyone.— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) February 18, 2020
That's why 100% of proceeds from these $25 tees will benefit @YouCanPlayTeam.
Available tomorrow at the DIB'S on Victory pregame happy hour and through the @DS_Foundation outside Section 113. #GoStars pic.twitter.com/xqnd3JtW7S
Will the Stars stand pat at the trade deadline? Will Anton Khudobin wear Victory Green next season? Sean Shapiro held a live chat yesterday, and there’s plenty to talk about.
Are the Stars the best team in the Western Conference? Should they make a move at the deadline? What's the best road trip in the NHL? @seanshapiro is chatting right now, and can answer all of those questions and more!https://t.co/BvUKbBueXu— The Athletic Dallas (@TheAthleticDFW) February 18, 2020
We can only aspire to Rick Bowness’ level of chill about the TDL.
Rick Bowness had a good answer when asked about the trade deadline:— Josh Clark (@Josh_Clark02) February 18, 2020
“I completely ignore it.”
“Is that easy for you to do?”
“Yep. They aren’t going to trade me.”
Around The League(s)
In On The #Kill Taker
- Jordan Binnington got the shutout in the St. Louis Blues’ 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils. [St. Louis Game Time]
- The Nashville Predators gave up a 4-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, who moved back into playoff position in front of their moms. [Canes Country]
- And Blake Wheeler scored twice as the Winnipeg Jets strafed the Los Angeles Kings, 6-3. [Jewels From The Crown]
Consensus: The Jets also won the Dylan DeMelo trade yesterday, gaining a second-pair right-hander for a third-round pick.
The Vancouver Canucks have lost megastar Brock Boeser for eight weeks. Will Tyler Toffoli help keep them in playoffs position?
The Blues are dealing with the loss of Jay Bouwmeester by acquiring Marco Scandella from the Montreal Canadiens.
The Buffalo Sabres traded Marco Scandella for a 4th, used that pick to acquire a washed up Michael Frolik, and then saw Scandella get traded for a 2nd just six weeks later— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) February 18, 2020
From "career threatening injury" to "out for at least a month" to "back within a week" is some Wolverine shit. https://t.co/evtcw99KMb— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) February 17, 2020
Which states have the hottest hockey towns? It may not be the ones you think.
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
The Texas Stars have rolled out their 2020-21 season-ticket packages, and you’re invited.