Should the Dallas Stars play Lian Bichsel tonight?

The Dallas Stars have played with five defensemen since Jani Hakanpaa is out of the lineup. With the Avalanche having momentum going into game six, would it be wise to play Lian Bichsel to help with the defense? Here's why the Stars should consider adding Bichsel to the lineup.
Oct 3, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars defenseman Lian Bichsel (6) and left wing Jason
Oct 3, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars defenseman Lian Bichsel (6) and left wing Jason / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Stars have surprised the hockey world by winning with five defensemen during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It's a rare move, but the gamble has paid dividends for the Stars. During game five, some defensemen were tired on the ice in the third period. That led to the Colorado Avalanche forcing game six in Denver later tonight. I know it's a long shot that Pete DeBoer would baptize him tonight, but should the Stars have Lian Bichsel step in tonight? Here is why the Stars should consider doing that to close out the series.

Bichsel was selected in the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft by the Dallas Stars. Some Stars' fans were concerned about how young he was. However, a 6'7 defenseman wanting to play in the National Hockey League does not grow on trees. When the Stars lost Jamie Oleksiak to the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft, the Stars lost a lot of grit on the blueline. Jim Nill and the front office wasted no time drafting Bichsel when he fell to the Dallas Stars. It was like getting a young and inexperienced Oleksiak. However, Bichsel needed some time to develop in the AHL before making the NHL.

This past season, Bichsel opted to return to his junior club, Rogle BK, for one last season. Nill signed off on him going back overseas for one more season. He was doing well in Cedar Park, so it surprised Stars' fans he would go back to his junior club. The SHL is a grown adult hockey league, and Bichsel got some experience that he wouldn't have gotten in the AHL this past season. He was going up against grown adults, and that's what he will play against if he makes the Stars next season.

Jani Hakanpaa is nowhere close to suiting up for the Dallas Stars. You can only play with five defensemen for so long before the magic wears out. While Ty Dellandrea brings the aggressiveness, he doesn't play on the blueline. Having Lian Bichsel suit up for game six tonight would keep all the defensemen rested with their average playing time. Just look at his check during the AHL playoffs below. Bichsel could do that all game long to limit the amount of scoring chances that the Avalanche get tonight.

It's a long shot that we see Bichsel suit up for the Stars tonight. He would be learning how to play in the Stars' system in the middle of a playoff game. That is the last thing the Stars want to crush his confidence with. The only way Bichsel would play in a playoff game is if there was another injury to a defenseman. For now, it's a good learning experience for him to be around the team during postseason practices. For now, the future of the Stars' blueline is bright, with Bichsel making his NHL debut within the next couple of seasons.

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