Dallas Stars Daily Links: The Stars’ Penalty-Kill Rebuild Is A Work In Progress

Matthew DeFranks details the team’s three-point plan to improve its short-handed performance. Plus, first selections for the Winter Olympics, Carey Price enters the player assistance program, and more.

The Dallas Stars can improve their Stanley Cup playoffs outlook by improving their special teams. And for all its underperformance during overtime in 2021, the team may have hurt itself even more by coming up short while short-handed.

The Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks has posted a new article on how the Victory Green Gang can improve on offense, defense, and in net:

Last season, the Stars’ penalty kill ranked 18th in goals against per 60 minutes (7.14), one of the many reasons why Dallas missed the playoffs in the spring. The Stars allowed a power-play goal in 19 of the season’s first 33 games, enough of a hole that rendered their late-season improvement moot.

“I think we’re going to stick with how we played at the end, play more aggressive and try to give less time for them,” Stars defenseman Esa Lindell said. “We spoke with Rambo [assistant coach John Stevens] during the summer, what we can do better there. So I think some little details we change from last year are going to help us and it’s going to be better.”

Of course, the last line of defense is always the goalie, and the Stars’ team of Anton Khudobin and Jake Oettinger ranked 22nd in the league on the penalty kill last season. It was a long way down from the Ben Bishop-Khudobin tandem, which ranked as high as third (in 2018-19). Better netminding, especially on shots from the exterior, will be key:

“We have to have faith in our goaltenders that when we give up that outside shot, it’s going to be stopped,” Bowness said. “The outside shot always has been the goalie’s. They’ve got to stop those shots.”

By contrast, the Stars performed pretty well in the faceoff circle, ranking ninth in the league in short-handed win percentage. With Tyler Seguin and Radek Faksa both healthy again, they could see even better results this season, on both the right and left sides. That leaves the work of getting the puck out of their own end more often, and more quickly:

“A lot of times, we get scored on, we win the face-off and we wouldn’t clear the puck 200 feet,” Bowness said. “So our clears have to get better and we’ll spend less time in our zone. That being said, there’s too many seam passes that we’ve really focused on shutting those down.”

Matt has more. [SportsDayDFW]

Stars Stuff

Just a reminder to arrive early for the Stars-Colorado Avalanche game tonight.

Unfortunately, the game will not be broadcast or streamed, so you’ll have to find out what’s going on in the new old-fashioned way.

Around The Leagues

#Death Notes

  • Nikolaj Ehlers scored twice, once on the power play, as the Winnipeg Jets doused the Calgary Flames, 3-2. [Matchsticks And Gasoline]
  • And in Central-on-Central violence, Adam Beckman got a Gordie Howe hat trick as the Minnesota Wild bested the St. Louis Blues 4-3 in overtime. [Hockey Wilderness]/

How will Canada cope with the loss of the division of its dreams? Who knows – but Rob Pizzo has questions, and Jack Campbell has a cameo.

The Winter Olympics will be here before you know it. Team USA is getting ready by focusing on players Stan Bowman knows personally.

The Montreal Canadiens will start their season without Carey Price, who is expected to spend at least a month out of action – although GM Marc Bergevin says there’s “no set timetable.”

While the exact reason for Carey’s leave of absence is unknown, Angela Price has posted about the importance of “putting your mental health first.”

Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park – And Beautiful Boise

The Texas Stars’ season begins at home against the Iowa Wild on October 16. They’re welcoming back two of their best just in time.

Meanwhile, the Idaho Steelheads have a big announcement for a special anniversary.


Even on a day off, the Stars found something to celebrate. Enjoy.