The Dallas Stars will come home from Canada with three points out of a possible six. It’s better than coming home with none at all, but what the Vancouver Canucks loss revealed about the team’s underlying problems was not especially encouraging.
The Athletic’s Saad Yousuf examined the Stars’ surface issues in last night’s game and found deeper issues – including some that shouldn’t be. Take, for example, the string of penalties that led directly to power-play goals for the opposing squad:
The Stars are a veteran team, the oldest roster in the NHL. If there are concerns about looking slow or losing a step, it at least makes sense. A veteran group like this should not be struggling with something as basic as discipline....
What’s just as concerning as the penalties is who is committing these infractions. Over the past two games, [Ryan] Suter and Jani Hakanpaa have two apiece. Jamie Benn, Alexander Radulov, Radek Faksa, Blake Comeau and Luke Glendening each have one, as do Miro Heiskanen and Joel Kiviranta. The way this roster is constructed, veteran players have to be more disciplined than that. Many of these penalties, such as Suter, Heiskanen, Faksa, Comeau and Glendening, are also double-whammies. Giving an opponent a man advantage is hard enough but when the guy in the box is a key part of the penalty kill, naturally, it’s harder to kill off the penalty.
If there were a sign of hope to be found, it came from the team’s 5-on-5 play – which looked authentically dangerous at key moments:
Lately, there have been a lot of questions about why the Stars were unable to start games the right way. On Sunday, they actually came out of the gate strong offensively at five-on-five and were getting quality looks all across the lineup, including two great shots generated by the Comeau, Glendening and Kiviranta line. The Benn, Tyler Seguin and Radulov line also had a little buzz going, and the top line was doing its usual thing as Roope Hintz’s usual bad luck continued. When the Stars got on the power play, Joe Pavelski shoved the puck home to give Dallas a 1-0 lead....
“At the end of the day, the five-on-five game, that’s where we’ve really got to find it,” Pavelski said. “Special teams got to be good, but we’ve got to start winning that five-on-five game more often than we are.”
There’s more behind the paywall – including some catching up with former Stars and current Canucks Jason Dickinson and Justin Dowling. [The Athletic DFW]
Kyle Shohara says the quiet part out loud.
"You keep waiting for the Stars to have a breakout performance, and it just hasn't happened yet. Instead, they find themselves treading water with a 4-5-2 record through 11 games."— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) November 8, 2021
: https://t.co/xrfgADHVaP@PNCBank | #TexasHockey pic.twitter.com/FA0M4y9MOm
Around The Leagues
- The Chicago Blackhawks got their first win of interim head coach Derek King’s regime, dealing a Central-on-Central loss to the Nashville Predators 2-1 in OT. [Second City Hockey]
- The St. Louis Blues struck first, but the Anaheim Ducks used the power-play advantage to take the 4-1 win. (Sound familiar?) [St. Louis Game Time]
- And Ryan Hartman and Brandon Duhaime racked up two points each as the Minnesota Wild dismantled the New York Islanders, 5-2. [Hockey Wilderness]
The Blackhawks fired head coach Jeremy Colliton on Saturday because, well, they’ve sucked so far this season. (And I suppose karmic backlash has made things tense enough.)
"And so coach Jeremy Colliton skates away into hockey oblivion, fired after 205 games without ever coaching a full season, reduced to a trivia question by a lost franchise searching for answers..." #Blackhawks— David Haugh (@DavidHaugh) November 8, 2021
The Wild won the game, but Zach Parise may have won the night, sort of. In a way.
Zach Parise gets a standing ovation in his return to Minnesota pic.twitter.com/d17Qp3cXXA— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) November 8, 2021
Jack Eichel had irreconcilable differences with the Buffalo Sabres, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t love Sabres fans.
By the time you read this, Carey Price may already have reported to the Montreal Canadiens’ practice ice.
Carey Price entered the NHL's player assistance program in early October, and is expected to rejoin the Habs on Monday https://t.co/KdC8PmKKj8— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) November 5, 2021
I’m sure we’ve all seen enough of the Vancouver Canucks for now, but the Diwali sweaters they rolled out during Friday warmups are amazing, and so is the story behind them. [NHL]
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park – And Beautiful Boise
Oskar Back scores twice but the Texas Stars fall 7-5 in Sunday's matchup in San Jose.— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) November 8, 2021
Let’s end on a positive note: The Frisco Fire Department has rolled out a new beast with some serious Stars swag. Enjoy.