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Dallas Stars Daily Links: The Stars Put More Power In Their Power Play

New tweaks and returning elites could make special teams really special, writes Matthew DeFranks. Plus, where to watch preseason games, the NHL’s crackdown on cross-checking, and more.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Stars return to American Airlines Center tonight. Their preseason contest with the Florida Panthers will be a good opportunity to see how the team is tweaking its system. And if the past is prologue, it could also be a great time to see if the power play is as powerful as it stacks up to be.

The Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks has kept a close eye on the Stars throughout the preseason to date, and he writes that head coach Rick Bowness is rolling a pair of power-play units with “more skill than Dallas has had in recent years”:

On the first unit, John Klingberg manned the point, Alexander Radulov the net, Joe Pavelski the slot and Jason Robertson and Roope Hintz the right and left flanks, respectively. On the second unit, Ryan Suter was up top, with Jamie Benn at the net-front, Denis Gurianov as the bumper, Miro Heiskanen in the right circle and Wyatt Johnston [subbing in for Tyler Seguin] in the left....

Radek Faksa is no longer needed on the man advantage. Neither is Esa Lindell or Joel Kiviranta. All three of those players are there to ensure that the Stars don’t have to give PP minutes to Ty Dellandrea, Tanner Kero, Justin Dowling, Sami Vatanen and Joel L’Esperance, like Dallas had to last season.

Indeed, the sheer number of skill players returning from injury has left the Stars with an embarrassment of riches in special-teams options:

“The potential is two really good units,” Bowness said. “Ryan Suter is going to help us back there. Miro looked really good on the half-wall, we know what the other guys can do. We expect to have one of the top-ranked power plays in the league and we’re also working on our penalty kill at the same time.”

The units themselves are fluid, as players rotate around the zone to retrieve pucks and support teammates, they will move out of their assigned role. It’s something Bowness actually wants from his players: the ability to read off their teammates and counter aggressive penalty kills.

Matt has more. [SportsDayDFW]


Stars Stuff

You can listen to tonights Stars vs. Florida Panthers game on The Ticketand you can watch it if you get Bally Sports Southwest Plus (or ESPN+ if you’re out of market).

And guess what, friends – you’ll be able to watch the Stars vs. the Arizona Coyotes in the Kraft Hockeyville preseason game, no matter where you are.

A couple of gameday news bites on Jani Hakanpää and Antonio Stranges.

And another important injury update direct from Tyler Seguin:

Around The Leagues

#Death Notes

The 2022 Winter Classic will be played at night and will not co-star the Chicago Blackhawks, which are only two of the groundbreaking things about it.

The Toronto Maple Leafs dropped their preseason opener to the Montreal Canadiens, but at least Auston Matthews is back at practice.

And it looks as if Jonathan Toews is on track to return from his own struggles with a mystery malady that turned out to be chronic inflammatory response syndrome.

Evander Kane keeps making the wrong kind of headlines. This time, it’s over his possible flouting of health and safety rules – although the NHL has declined to say which ones.

Miro Heiskanen. Roope Hintz. Jason Robertson. Joe Pavelski. John Klingberg. Tyler Seguin. Alexander Radulov. Jake Oettinger. Jamie Benn. Denis Gurianov. Ryan Suter. Game on.

The NHL will make it easier to call Rule 59 infractions this season, probably, maybe.

Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park

Texas Stars Twitter has been dreaming of ice for at least a week, and it’s finally almost here.

Finally

Because it’s always the right time for more Rads. Enjoy.