Dallas Stars Daily Links: Jim Nill Has Three Keys To Unlock The Stars’ Season

The Stars’ GM points to speed, puck management, and (wait for it!) defense. Plus, Vegas wins the Eichel jackpot, a star is born in Boise, and more.

The Dallas Stars got a welcome two-point bump last night in Alberta. Even better, they got it against a Calgary Flames squad that has emerged as one of the league’s top teams in this still-young season.

But they still don’t have a single regulation win. What, as the kids say, is going on?

The situation is remarkable enough that even GM Jim Nill was compelled to respond this week – and he did, in an interview with Matthew DeFranks that is now a Dallas Morning News subscriber exclusive:

“You’re not going to get scoring chances if you spend 30 seconds in your zone defending,” Nill said. “By the time you get it out, you’re tired and got to change. Dump it in, and now they’re coming back at you. That’s what those pushes I’m talking about [are]. We haven’t done a good job of that.”...

When asked if there was anything systemic he noticed from the past few years of skinny goal-scoring, Nill pointed to poor defensive zone play and (sometimes) careless puck management as two reasons why the Stars have struggled to score this season.

“You’ve got to get back, defend well and support players, so you can make good, quick passes,” Nill said. “Now, you’re going to be on the rush and make plays. If you’re not getting back the right way, not getting in the right areas for the defensemen to get passes. ... If the defense aren’t getting back quick enough, now you’re in a battle.”

But are the Stars taking advantage of their best skaters? Here Nill drew a distinction between speed and quickness:

“There’s two types of speed,” Nill said. “You can have real fast, fast, fast guys and they buzz around 100 miles an hour. The other part of it is playing fast. That where I get back to being in good position defensively, you can play fast. Everybody in this league can skate, or you’re not in the league. Now, there are some speed burners, yes, we know that.

“Our thing really is we’ve got to play quicker. Are we fast enough? I think we are. I think our back end, we’ve got some pretty good skaters and puck-movers. … Up front, I think we’ve got enough speed, we’ve just got to play quicker.”

Matt has more (behind the paywall). [SportsDayDFW]

Stars Stuff

Tyler Seguin hit a big milestone last night and finds himself in some pretty good company.

And the Captain broke a pretty big record with that game-winner.

Sportstoons honored the return of Benn’s filthy wrister with a nice, work-safe drawing.

Speaking of filthy, Denis Gurianov says hey.

And for the guy who collected three assists, all on the quietus....

Yes, it’s been kind of a rough start, but Mike Heika stands behind Bowness Hockey.

Around The Leagues

#Murder Was The Case

  • The Nashville Predators came up short in an Alberta back-to-back, suffering a 5-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers. [On The Forecheck]
  • The Chicago Blackhawks caught a two-goal lead but ultimately couldn’t break the Carolina Hurricanes’ undefeated streak, taking a 4-3 loss in United Center. [Second City Hockey]
  • The Colorado Avalanche made a mighty comeback after giving up four unanswered goals to the Columbus Blue Jackets, but they ended up with a 5-4 loss in OT. [Mile High Hockey]
  • Jonathan Quick won the shootout battle on Wednesday night as the St. Louis Blues took a 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings in extra minutes. [St. Louis Game Time]
  • But Brandon Saad’s two goals helped the Blues make up some ground on their California road trip with a 5-3 win over the San Jose Sharks. [NHL]/

Sidney Crosby and Brian Dumoulin have joined the Pittsburgh Penguins’ COVID-positive parade.

The Vegas Golden Knights have busted Jack Eichel out of Buffalo – and by all accounts, the former Sabres captain is now free to get disc-replacement surgery for his injured neck.

The Eichel table stakes got pretty rich, with the Calgary Flames willing to ante up either Matthew Tkachuk or Sean Monahan at one point.

Robin Lehner, whose leadership on player well-being has made him a sort of hockey superhero, wants to see more NHL’ers stepping up to change the culture.

It may or may not matter in the big scheme of things, but the Hockey Hall of Fame has made its decision.

Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park – And Beautiful Boise

With the series sweep by the Colorado Eagles, the Texas Stars have now lost three in a row. Asher Rohm of 100 Degree Hockey goes into what went wrong.

Idaho Steelheads forward Yauheni Aksiantsiuk is making waves, as scoring four goals and five assists in five games is liable to do.


Want to see Aksiantsiuk in action? Of course you do. Enjoy.