Dallas Stars Daily Links: Just How Much Should We Judge a Goalie By Save Percentage?
Mike Heika asks whether save percentage is the be all, end all of goalie stats. Plus, the Stars will try to defeat the Lightning tonight, and Vernon Fiddler took over @DallasStars.
It's no secret that the Stars' goalie tandem hasn't exactly worked out like everyone hoped. In fact, the stats have been pretty miserable.
Dallas last season was 29th in the 30-team NHL at .895 and allocated significant resources to repairing that leak. They hired goalie coach Jeff Reese and acquired veteran Antti Niemi at a cost of $4.5 million for the next three years. Combined with Kari Lehtonen's $5.9 million contract, the Stars are spending more on goaltending than any other team in the league.
But, as they prepare for the final 11 games of the season, the save percentage again ranks 29th (.900), and that is seen as a concern.
But, Heika wonders, does save percentage tell the whole story? Coach Lindy Ruff points to the Stars' stye of play as being responsible for the lower numbers, while Kari Lehtonen said he'd rather have lower numbers but be in a playoff position, as opposed to a few years ago when the reverse was true.
Former Stars goaltender Marty Turco had this to say on the issue.
"I always said that they paid me to win games, so that was my most important stat," said Turco, who now works with the team in corporate development. "If you watch this team, they get the most and best scoring chances and they probably give up the most and best scoring chances, and so the goalies have to learn to win in that environment. They seem to be doing a pretty good job of that."
There's more from Niemi, Lehtonen, and Ruff at the link, and feel free to chime in on how concerned you are with the state of the Stars' save percentage. [SportsDayDFW]
Steven Stamkos and the Lightning are in town tonight, and the puck drops at the AAC at 7:30 p.m. [Stars Inside Edge]
Here are your Wednesday practice updates—word on the street is that Patrick Sharp and John Klingberg could be in the lineup tonight. [Stars Inside Edge]
Vernon Fiddler took over the Stars' Twitter account yesterday, and I would highly recommend checking out the #AskFiddler hashtag. Highlights include the revelation of Fids' look-a-like (Hank Azaria) and his thoughts on the best-looking Dallas Star (wildcard Mattias Janmark).
Hi, everyone. Vern Fiddler here from the @drpepper throne.— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) March 16, 2016
Let's get to your #AskFiddler questions! pic.twitter.com/pHBCTYHdmT
If the expansion draft was held right now, Puck Daddy predicts that the Stars would say farewell to Ales Hemsky and either Kari Lehtonen or Antti Niemi. Agree? Disagree? Here's your chance to play GM in the comments. [Puck Daddy]
Nothing starts a debate quite like when Lindy Ruff decides to "Ruffle" the lines. Over at The Hockey Writers, Jordan Dix discusses how much is too much when it comes to shifting things around. [The Hockey Writers]
Tyler Seguin chatted with The Ticket yesterday, and if you missed it, the audio is available online. [BaD]
While you're in the listening mood, I'll point you toward this:
Podcast: #TxStars Mattias Backman on IKEA, Swedish food, and playing goalie https://t.co/739WQaNrCy pic.twitter.com/9JUniJvrhD— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) March 16, 2016
Also from Sean Shapiro, a look at Derek Army, who the Texas Stars signed to a PTO on Monday. [Wrong Side of the Red Line]
Sean McIndoe counts down the five games that changed the course of the NHL draft. As it turns out, we have Mike Modano to thank (or blame) for Patrick Kane going to the Blackhawks—he could've been headed to Edmonton if the Stars hadn't won their season finale against Chicago in 2007. [The Hockey News]
The NHL outlined its plans for the expansion draft to all 30 GMs yesterday. [TSN]
The folks at On the Forecheck examined what those expansion draft plans will mean and then debated who the Predators might part ways with. [OTF]
The Blackhawks did a cool thing. (Actually, they did two because they lost to the Flyers last night. Thanks, Philly!)
The finalists for the Hobey Baker Award have been announced, and Jets prospect Kyle Connor is among the 10 players. [NCAA]
What's going on in the world of hockey analytics? Everyone at the 2016 Sloan Sports Analytics Conference is happy to tell you. [TSN]
Congrats to Rangers forward Chris Kreider, who's graduating from Boston College this May. [New York Times]
And finally, Tyler Seguin met up with fans at Rally House on Tuesday night. He took a lot of selfies.