If the Dallas Stars are going to make a deep run in the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, they’ll need to have a top tier performance in between the pipes. That starts with their “1A” goaltender in Ben Bishop, who isn’t as phased by the season’s extended pause as others might be:
“Whether it’s Game 7 or the first game of the season, I don’t treat it any differently,” Bishop said... “As a goalie, you learn to have a pretty short memory. You enjoy the good ones and you forget about the bad ones pretty quickly. You can’t do anything about the last goal, so the big thing is prevent the next one, so it’s pretty easy once you kind of learn.”
Of course, in the off chance that Bishop stumbles, the Stars still have Anton Khudobin, arguably the best backup goaltender in the NHL. Khudobin led the league in save percentage (.930 SV%) and is a pending UFA, but for now, he’s focused on one thing: hockey.
“So the answer is I’m not thinking about it. I’m just preparing to help my team to win, go farther as possible in playoffs. Either I’m going to play, either I’m not going to play, whatever. And then, whenever if free agency comes, or maybe I’m going to sign an extension here. I don’t know. So I just prepare for hockey, preparing for practices right now.”
You can read more from Mike Heika here.
Saad and Sean discuss how they think the Stars should pair up their forwards to maximize offense:
Stars need to maximize talent on the roster if they're going to improve offensively. That means getting production out of the likes of Seguin, Hintz, Gurianov & others.— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) July 28, 2020
What *gulp* line combinations would allow them to do that? @seanshapiro and I discuss!https://t.co/2woTaHJhFH
Also from Sean — a detailed look at how no one bores better than the Stars:
How the 1-1-3 neutral zone forecheck defines the boring, effective Dallas Stars https://t.co/psxZnOvR2y— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) July 29, 2020
Around the League
We finally had hockey yesterday! Sure, they were just exhibition games, but it was hockey!
- Our first hockey in *checks notes* a couple centuries gave us some overtime action, with the Philadelphia Flyers edging out the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2. [Broad Street Hockey]
- Meanwhile the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Montreal Canadiens
at home“on the road” 4-2. [Pension Plan Puppets]
- Finally, the Edmonton Oilers doused the Calgary Flames 4-1, and I don’t care if that pun is overused because hockey is back, baby! [Copper and Blue]
There’s more hockey today — Taylor’s put together the broadcast info in a pseudo-gameday thread here.
Moving on, the NWHL is eyeing a full season for 2021:
The NWHL has announced its return-to-play plans, including a target start in January 2021 with hopes of completing a full season and playoffs by end of March.https://t.co/dOodOecYFi— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) July 29, 2020
Which Round One matchups should you be rooting for this postseason? Down Goes Brown has got you covered:
I don’t know about you, but this whole split between John Chayka and the Arizona Coyotes is just bizarre to me:
Finally, two of Sportsnet’s analysts think the Stars will win the Stanley Cup, with Ben Bishop taking home the Conn Smythe (naturally):
When it comes to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, we should always expect the unexpected.— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) July 28, 2020
And this year could be the hardest to predict of all.
But Sportsnet's panel of insiders have done just that, picking qualifying-round winners, Cup finalists and a champ.https://t.co/L4Z71v9s4R