The Dallas Stars can improve their Stanley Cup playoffs outlook by improving their special teams. And for all its underperformance during overtime in 2021, the team may have hurt itself even more by coming up short while short-handed.
The Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks has posted a new article on how the Victory Green Gang can improve on offense, defense, and in net:
Last season, the Stars’ penalty kill ranked 18th in goals against per 60 minutes (7.14), one of the many reasons why Dallas missed the playoffs in the spring. The Stars allowed a power-play goal in 19 of the season’s first 33 games, enough of a hole that rendered their late-season improvement moot.
“I think we’re going to stick with how we played at the end, play more aggressive and try to give less time for them,” Stars defenseman Esa Lindell said. “We spoke with Rambo [assistant coach John Stevens] during the summer, what we can do better there. So I think some little details we change from last year are going to help us and it’s going to be better.”
Of course, the last line of defense is always the goalie, and the Stars’ team of Anton Khudobin and Jake Oettinger ranked 22nd in the league on the penalty kill last season. It was a long way down from the Ben Bishop-Khudobin tandem, which ranked as high as third (in 2018-19). Better netminding, especially on shots from the exterior, will be key:
“We have to have faith in our goaltenders that when we give up that outside shot, it’s going to be stopped,” Bowness said. “The outside shot always has been the goalie’s. They’ve got to stop those shots.”
By contrast, the Stars performed pretty well in the faceoff circle, ranking ninth in the league in short-handed win percentage. With Tyler Seguin and Radek Faksa both healthy again, they could see even better results this season, on both the right and left sides. That leaves the work of getting the puck out of their own end more often, and more quickly:
“A lot of times, we get scored on, we win the face-off and we wouldn’t clear the puck 200 feet,” Bowness said. “So our clears have to get better and we’ll spend less time in our zone. That being said, there’s too many seam passes that we’ve really focused on shutting those down.”
Matt has more. [SportsDayDFW]
Just a reminder to arrive early for the Stars-Colorado Avalanche game tonight.
Es una fiesta con los Stars!— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) October 7, 2021
We’re celebrating #HispanicHeritageMonth on @PNCBank Plaza with live music, food and awesome giveaways courtesy of @ATT, starting at 5pm tonight. pic.twitter.com/6LZjCGYTdw
Unfortunately, the game will not be broadcast or streamed, so you’ll have to find out what’s going on in the new old-fashioned way.
There will be no TV or Radio broadcast or stream tonight– we'll be bringing you all the action across our social media channels.— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) October 7, 2021
Around The Leagues
- Nikolaj Ehlers scored twice, once on the power play, as the Winnipeg Jets doused the Calgary Flames, 3-2. [Matchsticks And Gasoline]
- And in Central-on-Central violence, Adam Beckman got a Gordie Howe hat trick as the Minnesota Wild bested the St. Louis Blues 4-3 in overtime. [Hockey Wilderness]
How will Canada cope with the loss of the division of its dreams? Who knows – but Rob Pizzo has questions, and Jack Campbell has a cameo.
The North Division is no longer ( )— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) October 6, 2021
That leaves a lot of questions for how our Canadian squads will fair this season, so we’ve got ONE BURNING QUESTION for each team @robpizzo breaks it down https://t.co/mCr3WWwJkN pic.twitter.com/tE9510PE6L
The Winter Olympics will be here before you know it. Team USA is getting ready by focusing on players Stan Bowman knows personally.
The Montreal Canadiens will start their season without Carey Price, who is expected to spend at least a month out of action – although GM Marc Bergevin says there’s “no set timetable.”
BREAKING: Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price will be away from the team indefinitely after voluntarily entering the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. https://t.co/JrwXGFrKCU— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) October 7, 2021
While the exact reason for Carey’s leave of absence is unknown, Angela Price has posted about the importance of “putting your mental health first.”
From Angela Price on Instagram. All the best to Carey and the family. pic.twitter.com/LnbSYEwUPn— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 7, 2021
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park – And Beautiful Boise
Meanwhile, the Idaho Steelheads have a big announcement for a special anniversary.
NEWS: The rosters are here!— Idaho Steelheads (@Steelheads) October 6, 2021
30 alumni community members will take part in the 25th Anniversary Reunion Game on Saturday at @IdCentralArena!
DETAILS: https://t.co/HqjtIraLyw | #FeelTheSteel pic.twitter.com/ZTbwTUpZ3R
Even on a day off, the Stars found something to celebrate. Enjoy.