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Category: Dallas-Stars

The Dallas Stars Are The Top Team In The Western Conference

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

The Stars can score goals, they proved that last season when they were second in the NHL.

But they are doing something different this year, making those goals stand up. Dallas came back from a two-goal third period deficit to defeat the Vancouver Canucks, 4-3, in overtime Thursday at American Airlines Center.

"What's really good to see is we had a tough time with adversity last year, and this year we've started off where we're learning to battle through some tough situations and come up with some big wins," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said.

Dallas pushes to 8-2-0 on the season and leads the Western Conference. The Stars overcame a three-goal deficit in a 4-3 win over Anaheim Tuesday and crawled back from a goal 10 seconds into the third period that gave Vancouver a 3-1 lead.

"That's something that last year would have turned the game the other way," Ruff said.


Watch the game highlights below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Mattias Janmark Quickly Adjusting To The NHL

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

The whirlwind start to the rookie season of Mattias Janmark is even more improbable than it looks on the surface.

Not only was the 22-year-old forward expected to return to Sweden to play this season, but he also was programmed to play on ice that's much bigger and didn't really consider the challenges of North American hockey until he arrived in September.

"It's a lot different, I didn't really think about how different it would be," Janmark said of playing on a sheet that's 85 feet wide, 15 feet narrower than European rinks. It's a bit more of a puck possession game back home, and you have more time. Here, it's a bit smaller and tighter. But I think it's fun, I think you get more opportunities here."

In fact, Janmark's ability to adapt quickly has created an opportunity to establish his NHL career right now. While he was a center in Sweden who liked to skate the puck up ice and hold onto it for long stretches, waiting for just the right moment to make a pass, he has had to become a reactor in the NHL. Janmark has moved to the wing and plays with puck possession centers like Jason Spezza. As such, he's playing a different game than he has ever played before, and he's doing a great job of it.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mattias+janmark

Video- Jason Demers Suspended Two Games For Elbowing

Patrick Burke explains the suspension.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jason+demers

Jason Demers Will Be Meeting With The NHL Player Safety Department Today


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  Tags: jason+demers

The Improved Goalie Situation In Dallas

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

We can argue as to whether or not Antti Niemi is a back-up goalie or not, but that's part of the beauty of the net-balancing experiment the Stars are conducting this season. The simple fact is the Stars won four times all last season with someone other than Kari Lehtonen starting the game...and those four wins were the last four games of the season.

This year, they already have three wins with Lehtonen nestled safely beneath his ballcap _ and that is revolutionary for Stars fans who have watched Andrew Raycroft and Dan Ellis and Tim Thomas and the trio from last season.

It's important not only because the team is off to a 6-1-0 start, it's important because nobody is panicking. The Stars were 4-1-2 to start last season, but the belief was Lehtonen needed to be in the cage as much as possible. He was averaging 60-plus games per season, and there was no sign that trend was going to change. Heck, had you asked in October, the sentiment might have been that he would top 70 games last season.

But there was a reason he didn't _ because his game unraveled. Pushed to the edge by the pressure to perform, he started to wear down and crumble. 


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink

All Jim Nill

from Frank Seravalli of TSN,

TSN: What are you most encouraged about so far during this strong start?

Nill: “Well, I think we’re handling adversity better. We’re more mature in those situations, and I think it’s showing. We can score. We know we can score. But there’s a difference between scoring and being patient with it. The other day (Saturday in Florida), we got behind 2-0 in the first period. In the past, we’d feel like we need to go and get it right back, then all of the sudden it’s 3-0. We’re more patient.”...

TSN: The biggest concern, at least for last year, wasn’t scoring, but keeping pucks out of the net. The Stars were second in goals (261) but 26th in goals against (260). Are we starting to see the early returns from new goaltending coach Jeff Reese with Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen?

Nill: “It’s Jeff and it’s both goalies putting in the work. I think Kari is first to admit that he had a tough year last year. That isn’t Kari Lehtonen (.903 save percentage). We knew he was going to bounce back. That was a commitment he made last summer. It’s also Antti Niemi coming in. Antti is a workhorse. He doesn’t want to leave the ice. I think that’s rubbing off on Kari.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jim+nill

The Battle Of Warburg, Alberta Starts Tonight

from Jeff Neiburg of the Philadelphia Daily News,

The village of Warburg, Alberta, is home to 789 people, according to Canadian census data from 2011. Just under 400 of them are men.

What are the odds, then, that two boys from that town grow up and one day coach against each other in the National Hockey League?

The math would show that it's, well . . . pretty improbable, all things considered.

"It's a coaching hotbed, Warburg," Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff said with a laugh after Tuesday's morning skate at Wells Fargo Center.

Flyers coach Dave Hakstol, 47, and Dallas' Ruff, 55, were raised on the rustic prairie land in central Alberta. Hockey was their way out of the area, which usually breeds generations of farmers and manual laborers.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dave+hakstol, lindy+ruff

The Dallas Stars Need To Fix Their Problems

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

Dallas has missed the playoffs in six of the last seven seasons. That's tough to do in this league.

It has been 16 years since the Stars won the Stanley Cup. It has been 10 years since their last division championship (which capped a run of seven in nine years).

These are not your father's Stars.

This is not a problem created by the people here now, but it is one they have to acknowledge and accept. The reality is that this team has gone through bankruptcy, created a reality show rotation of coaches and players, and lost a lot of relevancy in Dallas and the NHL.

All of that is important as you ruminate on a 1-6-0 preseason. That kind of performance erodes confidence at home and perception around the league. It creates serious questions or, even worse, apathy.

And it is a problem of the Stars' own making.

Bottom line is you don't set out to go 1-6-0 in preseason, so you must have done something wrong. You don't address your goaltending question marks by posting the worst goaltending preseason numbers in the league, so you must have done something wrong. You don't create positive momentum by playing poorly, so you must have done something wrong.

And the Stars have to embrace that.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Jamie Benn For The Hart Trophy?

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

With an improved cast around him, Benn will nudge out every other elite forward to win the Hart Trophy. He is the preseason choice to be the League's most valuable player in the 2015-16 season.
"Jamie improves every game and every year," Stars center Tyler Seguin said. "I've only been with him for two years, but as a player and as a person it seems like every week he's getting stronger and better, and becoming a better leader and better captain. He wants the team to be so successful that he's making himself better as a player."

The Stars became a better team during the offseason, adding goalie Antti Niemi, forward Patrick Sharp and defenseman Johnny Oduya. All three have won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks. Sharp and Oduya did it last season.

Sharp is expected to start the season on a line with Benn and Seguin. It could become the best line in the NHL. Benn's numbers could go up. Would anybody be surprised if he scored 40 or more goals? He had 35 last season, 34 the season before.

A better, more experienced team around him should make Benn an even better player. That should put Benn in the national spotlight, which gives him a chance to impress more members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association, who vote for the Hart Trophy.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jamie+benn

Defensive Issues Still Exist For The Dallas Stars

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

Dallas lost a 4-1 game to St. Louis to fall to 1-4-0 in the preseason. Just as concerning, the Stars have yielded 20 goals in five games. That's a big deal for a team that vowed to fix goaltending and defense.

"It was disappointing," said coach Lindy Ruff. "We didn't compete hard enough. I thought some guys did, but they won the puck battles, we threw some pucks away and I thought our power play played pond hockey. That was frustrating."

The vast majority of the exhibition slate has been played with a mixed lineup, but the Stars went with a mostly veteran lineup Tuesday, including Benn, Hemsky, Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza and the expected six defenseman who will be in the lineup opening night against Pittsburgh.

Antti Niemi was in net and allowed four goals on 28 shots. He and Kari Lehtonen have split time in the preseason, and neither has looked great. However, both have faced some tremendous scoring chances -- and that's on the defense.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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