Dallas Stars Daily Links: Why Does The Stars’ Power Play Look So Puny?

Mike Heika takes a look at an “out-of-sync” unit that was expected to be a Stars strength. Plus, watch party in Plano, Evander Kane’s 21-game suspension, and more.

The Dallas Stars were looking forward to plenty of improvement this season, what with some of their best players back from injury and their system getting new tweaks in response. Not the least of these was the power play, which many expected to be legitimately dominant.

So why has that unit looked so unimpressive so far? Stars senior staff writer Mike Heika examined the reasons for the Stars’ early disappointing results with the man advantage. Spoiler alert – the absences of Jason Robertson and John Klingberg are heavily implicated:

“The power play has been completely out of sync,” Stars head coach Rick Bowness said. “It’s as simple as that. There’s nothing happening with it. Sometimes, your power play might go 0-for-5, 0-for-6 and look really good doing it, and the puck’s just not going in. Our power play the last couple games hasn’t even been close to being good enough.”

The lack of precision has mirrored the play of the top players, who appear to be lacking confidence to start the year. [Alexander] Radulov, [Tyler] Seguin and Jamie Benn have combined for two assists and 13 shots on goal in three games. They’ve looked scattered and there ironically could be the problem of overtrying and not relaxing.

That said, Bones believes the unit as a whole has improved. Now he looks to netminding to put it over the top:

...Last year, Anton Khudobin and Jake Oettinger combined to rank 22nd in shorthanded save percentage at .857, and that has to be better this year. Bowness said adding Braden Holtby and getting Khudobin healthy 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.”

There’s always more at Mike’s place. [Dallas Stars]

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