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Dallas Stars Daily Links: No Passion

Did the Stars lose last night due to a lack of ‘fight,’ or is there more to it? Plus, looking ahead towards the Olympics, attendance numbers are down, and more.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Columbus Blue Jackets Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

After the Dallas Stars’ 4-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets last night, there was a running theme with the postgame conference: a lack of passion and fight from the Stars.

“You could tell the passion and the competitiveness just wasn’t there,” [head coach Rick] Bowness said. “It just wasn’t.”

...

“It just shouldn’t happen,” Stars captain Jamie Benn said. “You can be as talented and whatever in this league, but it doesn’t take much to work hard, and work hard as a group. For some reason, we didn’t do that tonight. … There is no excuse for not competing. It’s all inside — emotion, heart. There is no excuse.”

Of course, “passion” can only explain so much. The Stars’ have a clear problem of scoring at 5-on-5 so far this season, which was put on full display last night:

They created chances in the first period, ringing three posts, but passed up shots on prime scoring chances. The third period was fine after falling behind by three goals. But the second period was all Blue Jackets at 5 on 5, as they had a 9-6 edge in shots on goal and a 12-3 edge in scoring chances, according to Natural Stat Trick.

“We have to be more consistent,” defenseman Miro Heiskanen said. “I think we didn’t play good enough tonight. The first was OK, but the second was really, really bad. We have to be a lot better than that.”

You can read more from Matthew DeFranks here.


Stars Stories

Saad Yousuf attempts to be at least a little optimistic about last night’s loss:

If you (thankfully) missed the game like me, here’s a breakdown... kind of:

So we’re all on the same page:


Around the League

Only a couple of other Central Division games from last night:

Speaking of undefeated teams: while the Toronto Maple Leafs are flailing, Freddie Andersen is doing quite alright for himself with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Team Canada will be stacked for the Olympics... except possibly in net:

Greg Wyshynski offers some advice if you’re considering taking a dip into NHL betting:

Finally, Sean Shapiro investigates lower-than-usual attendance numbers for the start of the 2021-22 NHL season: