The Dallas Stars could be the team to beat in 2022. You’re going to hear that a lot during the offseason, in part because 2021 will be an extra-long summer for the Victory Green Gang.
But does this new cliché have the advantage of being true? Stars senior staff writer Mike Heika has devoted his latest piece to a freeform exploration of that possibility. He starts off with a few thoughts about the defense-vs.-offense mind puzzler:
Of the top 13 teams in goals-against average during the regular season, only Dallas (eighth at 2.64) didn’t make the playoffs. The Golden Knights, Avalanche and Islanders were top three. Now, you can say that both Vegas and Colorado are great offensive teams, but the Islanders finished 21st in scoring at 2.71 goals per game, which was worse than Dallas (18th at 2.79).
To be fair, the top 14 scoring teams made the playoffs. However, eight of those teams were eliminated in the first round, and much was made of their inability to score goals in the postseason. So, is there a different kind of hockey played in the playoffs, and do teams that lean toward too much offense get shut down too easily?
It’s worth discussing.
There’s also the possibility that some things happen for a reason, or several. Heika considers the consequences of losing a few key players, and it leads him directly to the rise of Robo:
One of the reasons all of that has been bouncing around my brain is because so many people like to look at former Stars players excelling in the playoffs and then ponder if they should’ve kept them or if they should’ve developed them better. You can make arguments for each player. Valeri Nichushkin is a regular in a great Colorado lineup, and many believe the Stars dropped the ball on the former first-round pick. But Nichushkin has three points in 10 playoff games this year, and I’m not sure he was ever going to be good in Dallas. I think the best argument is the Stars should’ve realized that earlier and traded him when he had value.
Fans also are bemoaning the fact the Stars let both Mattias Janmark and Corey Perry get away in the offseason. While it’s true both are having solid playoff years (Janmark with seven points in nine games for Vegas and Perry with six points in 11 games for Montreal), keeping both around would’ve likely meant that Jason Robertson didn’t get the chance he did this season.
Ready to let your mind wander? There’s more at Mike’s place. [Dallas Stars]
You probably saw this coming, but now it’s official: Stephen Johns has retired from playing.
As for his future plans...how’s this, for starters?
The next chapter starts tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/omwxvb0upL— Stephen Johns (@stjohns28) June 14, 2021
Meanwhile, Andrew Cogliano’s 34th birthday was yesterday, but it’s not too late to wish him a happy one.
Around The Leagues
Stanley Cup Roundup
Meanwhile, Pekka Rinne has brought the King Clancy home to the #MDK.
“What better place for a comeback than Broadway?” No doubt that’s what Gerard Gallant and the New York Rangers are thinking, too.
It’s been 10 years since the Stanley Cup Riot, and the people of Vancouver are still feeling its effects.
#OTD in 2011, a heartbreaking Vancouver Canucks loss in Game 7 of the #StanleyCup finals led to mayhem and looting— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) June 15, 2021
This is what some people who were there remember of that night 10 years later https://t.co/7LP9dt6nxf
Massachusetts youth hockey leads the state’s Olympic development leagues in a terrible metric: the number of coaches who have been sanctioned for this kind of malpractice.
In May, George J. Barrett Jr., a prominent girls’ ice hockey coach, was suspended by the US Center for SafeSport.— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) June 14, 2021
His suspension marks the 14th time a person involved with youth ice hockey in Massachusetts has been disciplined for sexual misconduct.https://t.co/AyA9zjxaDz pic.twitter.com/67HGTz0Gty