What we learned from the Dallas Stars first preseason game

The Dallas Stars took to the ice on Monday for their first preseason game in St. Louis. The Stars dropped the game 2-1 in overtime to the Blues, but the contest produced some interesting themes.

Braden Holtby looks good.

The Dallas Stars signed Braden Holtby in hopes the netminder could regain his Vezina Trophy form. So far, so good. The 32-year old goalie not only looked phenomenal wearing Stars gear, but he also played the part well.

Holtby turned aside 15 of 16 shots in 40 minutes of ice time during Monday’s exhibition.

Holtby was relieved by Jake Oettinger, who handled the 3rd and overtime periods. For Oettinger, playing with Holtby is as good as it gets. “[Holtby] is a guy I loved watching growing up”, Oettinger told the media after the game.

Rick Bowness also spoke with the media following the contest, saying Holtby looked “poised” and “handled the puck well”.

Holtby’s one-year, $2 million deal could be the steal of this past offseason. The veteran struggled mightily during his two seasons with the Vancouver Canucks. However, it would seem the Dallas Stars coaching, system, and intensity is already resulting in Holtby finding his old ways.

The kids have come to play.

The Dallas Stars will need young players to crack the lineup if they hope to compete in the Western Conference. Such players include but are not limited to Thomas Harley, Ty Dellandrea, and Riley Tufte. All three were on the ice for the Stars on Monday and each contributed in notable ways.

Tufte scored the Stars first goal of the preseason roughly 2 minutes into Monday’s contest. Mavrik Bourque fed Tufte on a cross-ice pass that resulted in the one-timer. Tufte’s goal was all Dallas could muster against the Blues, but the lack of scoring was not due to a lack of effort.

Dellandrea led all Stars with 5 shots on net. The 21-year old forward also took a roughing penalty with 4:18 remaining in the 3rd period. The timing of the penalty was not ideal, but fans have to like Dellandrea’s scrappy performance.

Harley rounded out the night’s notable accolades, posting a team-high of 24:05 minutes time on ice.

Dallas Stars preseason road games are impossible to watch

Preseason road games are impossible to watch…literally.

To the dismay of all Dallas Stars fans, the first exhibition game was only televised in the Bally Sports Midwest area. Such also required Blues fans to cue up the Bally Sports mobile app and log in with their TV provider credentials.

Some Stars fans tuned into the game’s radio call that was carried over from ESPN’s St. Louis affiliate.

It has been common practice for NHL preseason games to only be televised by the home team’s regional sports network. This creates a dilemma as fans of the visiting team are shut out from watching. For example, the Dallas Stars 2nd preseason game will be broadcast via Bally Sports Southwest. Such is good for Stars fans, but not good for fans of the Florida Panthers.

One would hope the limited preseason viewing will soon come to an end with the new NHL TV contracts with ESPN and Turner Sports. Terms of the new contracts will result in marquee games receiving national broadcasts on ESPN and TNT. ESPN+ also replaces NHL TV as the digital provider for all out of market games.

Stars fans that live in the Bally Sports Southwest or Bally Sports Oklahoma territories will be blacked out from Dallas games on ESPN+.

The Dallas Stars are back on the ice Wednesday as they take on the Florida Panthers at the American Airlines Center. -J.G.