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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Can Rick Bowness Get The Stars Back On Track?

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Over-programmed and under-scoring, the Victory Green Gang needs to shake off some of their conditioning. Plus, the coronavirus makes sports headlines, the wild-card race heats up, and more.

NHL: New Jersey Devils at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Stars are running out of gas at exactly the wrong moment. Their current six-game losing streak beats anything they put together during their awful October. Even worse, they’ve squandered home-ice advantage for most of those contests.

Interim head coach Rick Bowness is trying a few changes to help the Stars with their slow starts – among them, letting the team stay home and rest rather than practice this morning. But one of the biggest changes will have to happen to their spotty, nonproductive offense. And that’s a tougher nut to crack, as Sean Shapiro reports:

When the Stars are attacking, it’s not in waves; it’s in single-man pursuits or cycles that fail to create anything resembling a quality chance. When the Stars do get a quality chance, they tend to shoot right into the goalie’s chest, and that only happens if they actually connected on a pass that seems to miss its mark more often than not.

It’s both a player issue and a coaching issue within a Stars system that puts a big emphasis limiting the chances against. When you watch closely, the Stars often have their third forward into the zone – the F3, in hockey parlance – staying high in the zone, but he is typically already cheating back defensively, even when the Stars have the puck.

There are big questions to be asked about whether the Stars have over-trained as a defense-first team. But the biggest question may be whether Bowness is the right bench boss for this team at all. Even that issue is complicated, considering how he took over after Jim Montgomery’s sudden firing:

Bowness’ demeanor and familiarity with the group is one of the main reasons the Stars didn’t crumble after the coaching change. The Stars players have said as much, and at that time, they needed a calm, reassuring voice that things were going to work out no matter who was behind the bench.

The issue has become that Dallas needed Bowness to have another voice that he doesn’t appear to have – a voice that actually helps produce NHL offense. This is both systemic – you could break some of that hard-wired programming – and, in deployment, rewards those that are further hard-wired to defense than those mad dashers in Denis Gurianov and Roope Hintz.

By sticking with checking-line players in key situations and offensive zone draws, the Stars are sending a frequent message that it’s more important to live to the next possession than to win this situation outright.

There’s much more behind the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]


Stars Stuff

Matthew DeFranks puts things in perspective.

Which Star got some love in the latest NHL power rankings? Look to the DENIS System for answers. [ESPN]

Around The League(s)

#Murder Was The Case

The Ducks took the opportunity to do something special for the folks who saved Bouwmeester’s life that night in February.

The NBA suspended its season last night, and the Sharks and Columbus Blue Jackets are already planning to host games without fans. What’s next?

Why are some sports events less likely to be called off? The Centers for Disease Control have some guidance on that.

Meanwhile, Nathan MacKinnon is still going to be out of action for at least a week.

Elsewhere, Troy Brouwer is down and Vladimir Tarasenko should be up – if the NHL doesn’t end up suspending its season, too.

Which bubble teams will make the biggest noise during the last month of the regular season?

Finally

If you still love the Stars’ classic green-and-gold jerseys, you might flip for the color-rush concept in this set of images from eDunkelDesigns. Enjoy.