The trade deadline has come and gone. Perhaps the surprise about that statement is the fact that John Klingberg is still a member of the Dallas Stars. He was one of the names that has been thrown around the NHL for months as someone who would definitely be moving at the deadline.
Alas, here we are. Deadline is gone and Klingberg is not. Which is good for Stars fans. Most Stars fans (or at least the ones I talk to) really like Klingberg and want him to stick around. That means the organization has something to figure out. Lots of questions will come up if they lose Klingberg this offseason when they had a chance to trade him and get some value in return. Perhaps they know something we don’t, and they have a plan in place.
But none of that matters tonight. Dallas has a game to worry about. A game against a team similar to Dallas. The Edmonton Oilers are currently in third place in their division but are trying to hold off the Vegas Golden Knights. Dallas is currently trying to catch St. Louis and Nashville in the Central. All of these teams are vying for playoff positions, with Dallas currently sitting on the outside looking in. They do have some games in hand, though.
Dallas is coming off a road trip in which they looked up-and-down. They looked really bad against the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders. They looked bad at times against the Montreal Canadiens. Other times against them they looked good. They also looked pretty good against the Washington Capitals. All-in-all, they salvaged two wins out of the four games.
The schedule gets kind of weird starting tonight, though. Tonight Dallas is home against Edmonton. Thursday they’re on the road in Carolina. Saturday they’re back at home against the Vancouver Canucks. Then they hit the road for a four-game road trip out west including a back-to-back in souther California to play the Ducks. With 21 games to play its time to see what this team is made of.
Potential Lines for Dallas
Jason Robertson (21) - Roope Hintz (24) - Joe Pavelski (16)
Jacob Peterson (40) - Tyler Seguin (91) - Denis Gurianov (34)
Joel Kiviranta (25) - Jamie Benn (14) - Alexander Radulov (47)
Michael Raffl (18) - Radek Faksa (12) - Luke Glendening (11)
Ryan Suter (20) - Jani Hakanpaa (2)
Joel Hanley (44) - John Klingberg (3)
Esa Lindell (23) - Andrej Sekera (5)
Jake Oettinger (29)
Scott Wedgewood (41)
The Edmonton Oilers
Not only are the Oilers coming into tonight’s game on the second night of a back-to-back, they’re playing less than 24 hours after going to overtime with the Colorado Avalanche. Not only did they have to play OT, they lost that game, 3-2.
All of these things bode well for the Stars – except you still have to deal with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. McDavid has 35 goals and 91 points on the season. Draisaitl has 41 goals and 87 points. Both players could easily reach 100 points for the season.
Those two players are most of the Oilers’ offense, and you can see why. They’re both quick, agile and can see the rink well. The Stars have to contain both of them tonight. Or, perhaps, you let them have theirs and you try to stop everyone else. I’m not sure I’d try that method, though.
Oilers Potential Lines
Evander Kane (91) - Connor McDavid (97) - Kailer Yamamoto (56)
Zach Hyman (18) - Leon Draisaitl (29) - Jesse Puljujarvi (13)
Warren Foegele (37) - Devin Shore (14) - Derek Ryan (10)
Brad Malone (24) - Ryan McLeod (71) - Zack Kassian (44)
Darnell Nurse (25) - Cody Ceci (5)
Duncan Keith (2) - Evan Bouchard (75)
Kris Russell (6) - Tyson Barrie (22)
Mikko Koskinen (19)
Mike Smith (41)