Stars Road Trip Continues Against Detroit

After facing the two Stanley Cup finalists to open the season, the Stars can’t afford a letdown against the Red Wings.

The Dallas Stars and the Detroit Red Wings both find themselves on the second day of an early season back-to-back. Turns out, the Red Wings were able to finish off their game against the Nashville Predators while the Stars disappeared after having an Esa Lindell power play goal overturned on a coach’s challenge.

Stars newcomers Rhett Gardner and Nicholas Caamano put together a solid game, Gardner especially drawing praise. Radek Faksa’s time centering the top line lasted long enough for Dallas to go down one early, and in the aftermath, Denis Gurianov put together one of his best games as a Star.

It was an interesting game to watch, given the changes to forward lines and defensive pairings. Hockey is fun. Winning hockey is more fun. This team needs to have more fun.

It’s only two games in, but secondary scoring seems to be about right where it should be. The problem is that the top players aren’t finding the net. It’s a well-worn narrative, and after two games against a pair of notably stingy opponents, it’s nothing to particularly worry about.

Just makes you go “Hmmm.”

It’s a quick turnaround for the game in Detroit. Not enough time to dwell on what might have been. Of course, a three-game losing streak to start the season is not what you’d expect from a team that was picked by some reliable sources as a Stanley Cup favorite.

The Red Wings have the makings of a playoff team, but most of that talent has yet to work their way up to the NHL club. Right now, the Grand Rapids Griffins are the beneficiaries, with names like forwards Joseph Velano, Filip Zadina, and Evgeny Svechnikov or defender Moritz Seider preparing for what will inevitably be a call-up either later this season or next year.

Starting the season, Detroit has a more than adequate top line followed by three works in progress. Part of the first month of the season will be a shuffling of lines and players as they jockey for playing time, if not a place in the lineup.

On defense, Danny DeKeyser has been tasked with shepherding Filip Hronek through his sophomore season. That leaves Patrik Nemeth and Mike Green as the shutdown pairing. Stars fans will also recognize Trevor Daley as the mainstay on what is likely not the strongest third pair in the league.

In net, the Red Wings return Jimmy Howard and Jonathan Bernier. Neither put up earth-shattering numbers last year, although that may be more reflective of systemic issues than fading talent.

With both teams travelling after playing last night on the road, the lineups are subject to change and likely won’t be known until warm-ups.

Dallas Stars Lineup

Jamie Benn (14) - Tyler Seguin (91) - Denis Gurianov (34)
Joe Pavelski (16) - Roope Hintz (24) - Alexander Radulov (47)
Mattias Janmark (13) - Radek Faksa (12) - Justin Dowling (37)
Andrew Cogliano (11) - Rhett Gardner (49) - Nicholas Caamano (17)

Esa Lindell (23) - John Klingberg (3)
Miro Heiskanen (4) - Andrej Sekera (5)
Jamie Oleksiak (2) - Taylor Fedun (42)

Anton Khudobin (35)

Detroit Red Wings Lineup

Tyler Bertuzzi (59) - Dylan Larkin (71) - Anthony Mantha (39)
Taro Hirose (67) - Valtteri Filppula (51) - Luke Glendening (41)
Christoffer Ehn (70) - Frans Nielsen (81) - Adam Erne (73)
Darren Helm (43) - Jacob De La Rose (61) - Justin Abdelkader (8)

Danny DeKeyser (65) - Filip Hronek (17)
Patrik Nemeth (22) - Mike Green (25)
Dennis Cholowski (21) - Trevor Daley (83)

Jonathan Bernier (35)

Keys to the Game

Attention to detail. After facing Boston and St. Louis in their first two games of the year, the Stars show up in Detroit looking at a game that they should (and now need to) win.

Goals will come. Relax and play the game.

Don’t give up an early goal.

Simple game — go out and play.

Did you know?

Between them, Trevor Daley and Patrik Nemeth have roughly the same number of games played in a Stars uniform as the entire starting Stars defense.