Dallas Stars prospect Thomas Harley made his NHL debut last night, thrust into playoff action against one of the best teams in the Western Conference — the Colorado Avalanche. As you might expect from an 18 year old, Harley was just a liiiitle nervous about the game:
“It was nerve-racking, obviously,” he said. “I mean, you’ve worked your whole life to get there, and you honestly have no idea what to expect. I can tell you firsthand, that was nothing like an (NHL) preseason game I’ve played in before.”
Interim head coach Rick Bowness told reporters that he was pleased with Harley’s performance. But the young prospect wasn’t satisfied, and plans to use what he considers a subpar performance as a learning experience:
“I’m definitely not happy with the way I played... If I get another shot, I’m going to know what’s coming at me so it’s going to feel more comfortable out there. Just be a little calmer with the puck and not run around as much in the d-zone.”
You can read more from Saad Yousuf here.
By the way, the Stars lost 4-0, in case you blocked the game out of your memory. Here’s Bowness on the loss:
Coach Bowness: "We know how we have to play to be successful going into the playoffs, and we'll get back there."@ATT | #GoStars pic.twitter.com/u52rhdO2bs— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) August 6, 2020
Here’s Andrew Cogliano and Esa Lindell on behalf of the players...
"I don't think we are where we need to be right now. I think that game showed that mentally, we have to realize that this is playoffs and it's tough to win."— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) August 6, 2020
Cogs and Lindell spoke to the media following the loss to Colorado ⬇️#GoStars | @DallasStars pic.twitter.com/JAMo89j5Ij
...as well as captain Jamie Benn:
"Well, 0-2 is obviously not where we want to be. We have work to do, and we have a few days to take care of that before we take on the Blues."— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) August 6, 2020
Hear from the Captain following Wednesday's loss to the Avalanche ⬇️#GoStars | @DallasStars pic.twitter.com/fAIJamVNQP
If you like to revisit games like this with a hint of optimism, I suggest you read Mike Heika’s piece:
Stars still have time, but plenty of work remains after rough loss https://t.co/1gZhOJlnsd via @NHLdotcom— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) August 6, 2020
Otherwise, Sean Shapiro doesn’t pull any punches:
A 4-0 blowout loss to Colorado makes nine consecutive defeats in all formats for the Stars. @seanshapiro examines why Dallas is in a free fall and why it's past time for excuses https://t.co/fKa8mPkM8A— The Athletic Dallas (@TheAthleticDFW) August 6, 2020
Around the League
That’s enough misery for now — let’s look at the results from last night’s game and try and remain positive.
- The Montreal Canadiens took a 2-1 series lead against the Pittsburgh Penguins with a 4-3 win, meaning if Pittsburgh loses again, then they’re 100% going to win the NHL Draft Lottery.
Oh right, positivity. Sorry about that. Let’s try again, shall we?
- The Chicago Blackhawks took a 2-1 series lead against the Edmonton Oilers with a 4-3 win, meaning if Edmonton loses again, then they’re 100% going to win the NHL Draft Lottery.
- Speaking of the lottery, Taylor Hall might not get a chance to work his magic this year, as the Arizona Coyotes take the series lead with a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators.
- Meanwhile the Florida Panthers stave off elimination by beating the New York Islanders 3-1.
- Finally, the Boston Bruins will not have the top seed in the Eastern Conference despite winning the President’s Trophy after losing to Tampa Bay 3-2.
The New York Rangers are already out of the picture, but at least their fans can remain optimistic:
The New York Rangers were the first playoff causality of 2020 after getting swept in three games by Carolina. But success is on the horizon, and there are many reasons to be pumped if you're a fan of the Blueshirts.https://t.co/1MXRtWyP2O— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) August 5, 2020
NHL officials have been blowing the whistle a lot this postseason, probably just to get it out of their system before Round 1 begins:
I'm just going to leave this here, before the next power play https://t.co/gV1rLwbQ4m— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) August 6, 2020
The seven non-postseason teams are petitioning the league for an extended training camp, and honestly there’s no reason why they shouldn’t get it:
“All we want is what the 24 teams got.”— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) August 6, 2020
GMs of seven NHL teams not playing submit a plan for additional camp time. | @PierreVLeBrun and @CraigCustance https://t.co/CDGwfcnBiR
Finally, make sure you tune in Monday to watch Edmonton or Pittsburgh win the Draft Lottery. Or maybe somehow both:
The likely landing spot for Alexis Lafreniere will be decided next Monday when the NHL will hold Phase 2 of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery.https://t.co/sG0jwEeCcd— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) August 6, 2020