The Stars are all too familiar with Ken Hitchcock. Many fans will begrudging remember his system, and how annoyingly difficult it was to watch. However, his defensive style of play did happen to rub off on Seguin, but nothing more is left. Now as the Stars travel to Edmonton, they will square off against their former head coach, whom know looks to turn Connor McDavid into a complete two-way player.
At this point, this game seems like a must win for the Stars. They currently sit at 12-10-2 and are barely clinging onto that second wild card spot. They need their big boys to start producing again. Although the depth has definitely helped out, when this top line gets hot, there are few in the league that can compete with then. Alexander Radulov has been the catalyst for the offense so far. He is currently sitting at 20 points in 14 games. There’s not much more the Stars can ask from Radulov, but they will have to rely on him to get Benn and Seguin on a hot streak.
On defense, the Stars are performing admirably. Given the circumstances, most teams would be losing mainly because of lack of experience on the blue line. While it certainly has been an issue, it’s not why Dallas is losing. To be honest, the defensive have chipped in more on offense than the actual offense. However, the wear and tear has made itself quite noticeable. These young blue liners are not used to the speed of the NHL. The only rookie that has had the least amount of problems has been Miro Heiskanen. But he too fell victim to the grueling schedule and staggered a bit against Colorado.
This team is not bad though. It has become obvious that the Stars have talent, but they are not consistent. The players grind a lot, but some lack the skill to finish their plays. Recently, Monty has revised his approach towards Valeri Nichushkin has he hopes to perfect his checking game. Val has played well, but he simply cannot score, yet he plays such a fantastic two way game. Not as good as Faksa, but has been reliable in tough situations.
Hopefully this team can survive another road trip, until Klingberg, Carrick, Johns, and Hanzal are able to join the lineup. With a healthy roster, the Stars can compete with anyone. The only problem is no team has a guaranteed healthy lineup and complaining doesn’t help. The Stars have to buck up and just play to their strengths. Having a rookie coach has also been challenging, but the process takes it time. Monty will make this team a contender, but Stars fans just have to be patient.
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