Dallas Stars Daily Links: How The Stars Have Powered Up Their Power Play

The players are taking ownership of what’s on the ice - and it’s glorious. Plus, the Coyotes-to-Houston rumor mill, the T-Stars net a historic win, and more.

The Dallas Stars owe much of their current hot streak to special teams. The power play, in particular, has delivered time and time again as the Victory Green Gang has outscored opponents in seven of their last eight games.

It’s no less than what many fans expected, but the way the Stars’ two-pronged extra-man attack has shaped up is still something special, as The Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks writes. Assistant coach Derek Laxdal has kept the same players on both units all season except for injury situations – but some timely tweaks have sharpened their game:

Moving [Miro] Heiskanen to the circle was perhaps the biggest adjustment the Stars made after Heiskanen ran the point on a unit for most of his first three seasons in the league.

“Well, maybe Miro’s really good over here because he’s so calm and patient with the puck and he’s got great vision,” Stars coach Rick Bowness said. “Let’s try that.”

The two units have split time almost equally this season, and Laxdal said there are a number of factors that go into which unit gets on the ice first: who is tired at the time of the penalty, who has been winning faceoffs, which unit is playing better that night, and more.

With John Klingberg and Ryan Suter running point, the Stars’ power play is responsible for 11 goals so far this season (six goals in 27:46 for the Klingberg unit, five goals in 26:49 for Suter’s). Laxdal sets the structure, but the players are taking more and more initiative for changing up on the fly:

“In the meeting, I said, ‘You guys are playing the game out there. You guys are seeing what’s on the ice. If you guys see something you can incorporate, take ownership of it,’” Laxdal said. “I think that’s one thing they’ve done a great job of, all the guys on both units are taking ownership of it.”...

“I’d like to see a little bit more movement on that unit where Miro slides to the middle and Denis [Gurianov] slides out for a one-timer,” Laxdal said. “Just keeps teams off balance a little bit, right? So now they’re worried about his one-timer instead of Miro being able to make a play. Miro can take the one-timer, but it’s probably a little more apparent with Denny. ‘OK, a one-time bomb is coming.’”

Matt has more. [SportsDayDFW]

Stars Stuff

It’s game day! Here’s how the Stars looked for yesterday’s practice, with Klinger “under the weather” and Braden Holtby taking a maintenance day.

Rick Bowness has words for the Stars’ new Supernova line.

Razor sums up a historic Tuesday night and hails the King Finn in a Finn-centric game.

Around The Leagues

In On The #Kill Taker

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The Avs’ emergency back-up goaltender, Jett Alexander, became the third EBUG to dress for a game in Scotiabank Arena in less than two years.

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Big news for #TexasHockey? We’ll surely find out.

Your daily thought experiment:

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Want to see that game-winner? Of course you do.


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