Where the Dallas Stars need to improve on the ice

The Dallas Stars have made a lot of changes in this past off season. Obviously the Tyler Seguin trade that rocked the NHL, and the acquisitions of Rich Peverley, Shawn Horcoff,  as well as Sergei Gonchar. Throw in the promising young forward Valeri Nichuskin, and the other youngsters like Alex Chiasson and Brenden Dillon

Heck, we got ourselves a hockey team.

Apr 18, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars teammates celebrate the goal by center Vernon Fiddler (38) against the Vancouver Canucks during the second period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

So, what now? Are they just thrown on the ice, with the crowd expecting a miracle overnight?

There were a lot of problems last year with the Dallas Stars. One of them being injuries that kept Kari Lehtonen from playing his best. He did see ice 36 times, but with a GAA of 2.66, there is much to be desired.

I’m not throwing Kari under the bus, he is an exceptional goalie and definitely in the top 10 in the NHL. The team in front of him needs to play far better because Lehtonen, as we’ve seen, is more then capable of making a game-saving stop or two to keep his team in it.

Not only that, but our back-to-back record was horrendous. I can only imagine the toll back-to-back games take on the body, but the effort needs to be there and its up to the leaders of the team, whether it be Benn, Whitney, or Dillon, to motivate the team to push for that extra two points.

Penalties were a massive problem for the Stars last season, and I know I speak for every fan when I say ‘enough is enough’.

It’s easier said then done, but they need to keep out of the box. If they keep out of the box, the chances of receiving a power play increase too.

Imagine the future power play line as such:

Benn-Seguin-Whitney

Goligoski-Gonchar

Seriously, that is a really, really, solid power play. Not the best in the league mind you, but with the sniping power of Benn and Seguin, coupled with the slap-shot of Gonchar and the playmaking abilities of the Wizard.

Heck, we got ourselves a hockey team.

Mar 3, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) and defenseman Alex Goligoski (33) celebrate the win over the St. Louis Blues at the American Airlines Center. The Stars defeated the Blues 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 3, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) and defenseman Alex Goligoski (33) celebrate the win over the St. Louis Blues at the American Airlines Center. The Stars defeated the Blues 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not anybody’s fault, but this new team has a lot more work to do then just submitting a new roster sheet and have everything fall into place.

Another setback was the intriguing fact that the team was in a rebuilding state for the last quarter of the season, which is arguably when they played their best. The Stars won 5 straight games for the first time in that season, and actually made a decent playoff push before the wheels fell off shortly before the last few games.

But that’s okay, I mean, I didn’t really expect them to go all the way.

But the effort that was put forward by that young, underestimated squad was admirable at the very least. Theat intensity and passion need to be reignited during every single game this season in order for this team to shine as brightly as it can.

In summary:

  • Stay out of the box
  • Focus on the powerplay
  • Constant motivation from the leaders

Other then that, this team has shown its fans time and time again that it can compete with the best. This is the season where it all begins, a new chapter in the legacy of the Dallas Stars. If they can come together and go above and beyond in their predicted potential, as so many of us believe they can do…

Heck, we got ourselves a hockey team.

 

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