The Dallas Stars don’t have a possession problem. They have a scoring problem.
In 2021, the Victory Green Gang was a top-eight NHL team in both shots on goal per game (30.3) and in high-danger chances (8.53). Yet they straggled in at 18th in scoring at 2.79 per game. How do they fix their finish?
Stars senior staff writer Mike Heika took a look at the #fancystats to find out what the team was doing wrong, and first of all came away with something they were doing right:
...Dallas wants to create offense from good defense, wants to gain possession of the puck and force play into the opponent’s end of the ice. In terms of actual shots on goal, the Stars were seventh in shot differential at all strengths at plus-182.
That means they were accomplishing their goal on many nights.
But will getting the healthy versions of Roope Hintz, Alexander Radulov and Tyler Seguin really make much difference in the system? Heika found evidence that it can:
If the Stars are healthy, they certainly can ponder a more offensive lineup. Both Blake Comeau and Andrew Cogliano can become unrestricted free agents and might not return. The Stars could lose a player like Jason Dickinson in the expansion draft on July 21. That could open minutes for three lines that have more of a scoring edge.
While you could put Radulov back with [Joe] Pavelski or [Jamie] Benn back with Seguin, you also could shuffle things up. You have what could be considered seven “top-six” forwards now with Jason Robertson putting together a great rookie season and Benn, Seguin, Radulov, Hintz, Pavelski and Denis Gurianov in the mix. Maybe Riley Damiani (33 points in 33 games) or Adam Mascherin (33 points in 34 games) could move up from the AHL after they tied for the Texas Stars’ scoring lead, or perhaps the Stars will add a player in free agency or via trade.
There’s more at Mike’s place. [Dallas Stars]
Here’s the bullet-point version of the Stars’ lottery odds.
Here are the Stars' odds in the NHL draft lottery that takes place June 2.— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) May 20, 2021
No. 1: 1.400%
No. 2: 1.526%
No. 15: 95.009%
No. 16: 2.066%
Joel Kiviranta has a featured role in Mark Lazerus’ history of how the Finnish National Team stunned the world in 2019.
"Everyone expected we were going to lose all the games and be back home in two weeks. Then it started to be like a little joke in the locker room, like we called each other little underdogs, just little punching bags that no one cares about." — Joel Kiviranta https://t.co/PY43HAiodE— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) May 20, 2021
Around The Leagues
Stanley Cup Roundup
- The Boston Bruins-Washington Capitals series tips toward Beantown, with a 3-2 Bruins win in double overtime. [Stanley Cup of Chowder]
- Sebastian Aho scored the first (and game-winning) goal, and the Carolina Hurricanes’ 3-0 victory over the Nashville Predators gave them a 2-0 series lead. [Canes Country]
- The Winnipeg Jets took off early, beginning their series with a 4-1 win over McJesus and the Edmonton Oilers. [Copper And Blue]
- And a Nathan MacKinnon hat trick helped the Colorado Avalanche outmuscle the St. Louis Blues with a 6-3 victory that gives them a 2-0 series lead. [Mile High Hockey]
Is Nazem Kadri about to get kicked out of Round 1 again? He’ll have a quiet talk with the Department of Player Safety after taking this match penalty last night.
Jussi Jokinen is retiring from professional hockey, but the memories will live on in every extended overtime. [NHL]
Nobody did it better in the shootout— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) May 19, 2021
Congrats on a wonderful career, Juice! pic.twitter.com/6FLQD039H9
So it looks as if the Seattle Kraken could win the 2021 NHL Draft Lottery as well as, you know, that whole expansion-draft bonanza.
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
It’s exit interview time for the Texas Stars. Riley Damiani and his scoring touch were big bright spots this season.
Sticking together for a full-season is as easy as 12-13-14 and that line was pretty effective all year.— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) May 19, 2021
Click here to watch Riley Damiani's full exit interview: https://t.co/0yEXu2kK5x pic.twitter.com/u7SCn6lwvn
And Adam Scheel is one reason why the Stars organization is awash in goaltending depth after all these years.
Shifting from the NCAA to the pros is a big change but you know what didn't change? Adam Scheel is still rocking the green and white— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) May 19, 2021
Click here to watch Scheel's full exit interview: https://t.co/8e8kZ1z61w pic.twitter.com/yWKxD00mti
John Klingberg and Radek Faksa, bringing you the kind of wholesome content you’re here for. Enjoy.