Although the Dallas Stars have had an impressive start to the season, their game and system could still use work. In fact, there are a few things that they might want to eliminate from their game.
A new system, coach and more than a few new faces on the Dallas Stars roster has made for an eventful start to the 2018-19 season. While it’s going pretty well for the team thus far, they have a few areas of their game that should be removed entirely.
Kicking the Puck
For some reason, the tactic of players using their skates to kick the puck up to their stick has become increasingly popular (and annoying) in the last few years. While it’s undoubtedly been around for longer, its prominence is concerning.
Hockey is hockey, not soccer. Players are quite literally holding hockey sticks that are specifically engineered for passing and shooting hockey pucks, but certain Stars players insist on using their skates? Not a great decision.
Of course, it works at times, which is great. It makes sense to use your skate to win a puck battle against the boards. It’s logical to use your skate to your advantage if your stick is caught up. These are all acceptable uses of kicking the puck around.
However, when it doesn’t work, it can cause issues. There’s no need to disrupt your stride when skating through your offensive zone on a rush under zero pressure from the opposition. That just causes the puck to get turned over, and it’s up to the goaltender to clean up the mess. That’s their job, but it wouldn’t be as difficult if players would just use their sticks.
Goaltenders Being Skaters
While possibly controversial, it’s somewhat terrifying to watch Ben Bishop play the puck as much as he does. He definitely shouldn’t just live in the blue paint, but the balance between enough and too much can be tricky to find.
An instance in which he shouldn’t play the puck would be essentially any time a Stars skater could get to it on his own accord. This, of course, is a judgement call that has to happen quickly; however, even just a few games in, Bishop has shown his willingness to venture out in the middle of play to secure the puck.
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However, when Dallas is on the power play and the puck gets cleared with no one in sight, it only makes sense for Bishop to skate over to it and pass it up. This not only saves time but keeps the offensive play going.
Leaving the bulk of the passing to the skaters will allow him to better follow the puck and not have to worry about getting back in position.
It’s a tough line to toe, and Bishop manages it pretty well. But every once in a while, a slip up or mistimed decision turns catastrophic.
Not Celebrating Well
This is more of a personal preference than anything else, but some of the Dallas Stars have awful goal celebrations. Although Alexander Radulov has it down, players like Jamie Benn might benefit from incorporating a boost of energy into their celebrations.
A simple fist pump is overused and, frankly, boring. Having a signature goal celebration hypes up the crowd — whether they’re at the game, at a watching party or sitting on their couch at home. It makes for a better fan experience, too, and allows viewers to feel involved in the action.
While the celebration of a Dallas Stars goal is fun regardless, getting to see the excitement in a player’s reaction makes it all the more better.
At the End of the Day
Whether or not these things change is up in the air. However, if they keep doing these things and continue to play with the grit, speed and skill they’ve put on display, it’ll be hard to complain.