it took a team effort drop the Stars’ defensive numbers into the NHL’s cellar



VANCOUVER, British Columbia The Stars are on pace to have the worst goaltending numbers in the NHL this season, but players and coaches say those stats have been earned by the entire team.

While Dallas sat 30th in goals against average at 3.29 and 30th in save percentage at .892 heading into Thursday’s game at Vancouver, Kari Lehtonen jersey cheap and Antti Niemi jersey cheap have maybe faced higher percentage scoring chances than any other goalies in the league.

“It goes a lot deeper,” captain Jamie Benn jersey cheap said. “They’re an easy target to pick on, because if you see the Dallas Stars jersey cheap are giving up 5, 6, 7 goals a night, everybody points a finger at the goalies first. But it’s 18 other guys playing in front of them, and it’s on all of us.”

The goaltending/team defense issue has been front and center during a stretch Cheap Jerseys from China
that has been the worst of the season. Dallas has been outscored 17 4 in losses to Ottawa, San Jose and Edmonton and has used both goalies in all three games. The Stars have pulled their goaltender 13 times, most in the NHL.

That’s part of the structure of having two goalies who are equal, and coach Lindy Ruff said a lot of his moves have been to motivate the team, not to punish the goalie.

“The goaltender didn’t leave the guy uncovered at the side of the net. The goaltender wasn’t the one who didn’t get in the lane on the penalty kill,” Ruff said after a 7 1 loss Tuesday at Edmonton. “Let’s spread it around a little bit here. We need more from them, but we need more from the leaders of the team.”

Ruff said the leading scorers have been trying to create scoring too much at times and have been guilty of allowing opponents to go on the counterattack. Benn played a role in the first two goals in San Jose en route to a 5 1 loss Sunday. Jason Spezza jersey cheap jersey cheap had a turnover that put the Stars on the penalty kill and turned into a game changing goal against Edmonton.

Patrick Sharp jersey cheap leads the Stars at minus 20, Spezza is minus 16, Tyler Seguin jersey cheap is minus 15 and Benn is minus 9. Those are the four worst on the team. Ruff said he would like to see the top players playing with the intensity of fourth liners such as Curtis McKenzie jersey cheap and Adam Cracknell jersey cheap, and that could create not only fewer chances against but maybe more puck possession and attack zone time.

“The model for us are the McKenzies and Cracknells. They’re really out there trying to prove they can be an everyday NHLer, and the 100 percent [they give] doesn’t drop off on any shift,” Ruff said.

“Our best players have got to do the right things. Sometimes that’s boring or hard, because the other team is trying to check you, the other team is trying to catch you from behind, the other team is trying to make it tough on you.”

And while the Stars might be changing coaching staffs at the end of the season, Ruff said he believes in the system that allowed Dallas to post 50 wins last year. He said he is going to push his team to be aggressive and play hard at both ends of the ice until the season is over.

“I know it’s hard, but we had a lot of Success jersey cheap with that format last year, and I’m not changing now,” Ruff said. “If one piece is missing inside our D zone, our D zone isn’t that good. But if every piece is there doing their job, it can be hard to create against us.”

“As hard as it is right now, you have to play for each other and play as a team,” Lehtonen said. “If even a couple of guys let down, it just doesn’t work. You need everybody at this level pulling the same rope, and that means goalies have to do their part too.”.

How NHL expansion could affect the trade deadline



Here are some highlights:

How do you think NHL expansion is going to affect the trade deadline? Is it possible for a team to trade for someone only to have them shipped to Vegas? That would suck.

Heika: Yes, that is a concern. A team could acquire someone and then have to Chinese Wholesale Jerseys
expose them in the expansion draft, and that is a risk. That’s why pending UFAs such as Patrick Sharp jersey cheap and Patrick Eaves jersey cheap jersey cheap are desirable, because Vegas is probably not taking a player who can turn around and leave in free agency.

That said, teams also need to have the proper players to expose in the expansion draft (there are rules on amount of games that have been played this season, so that Vegas has a good selection). You could actually see teams acquire players with the intent of losing them.

Now, all of this can be done at the end of the season before the June 20 expansion draft, so the trade deadline might not affect much. My guess is that’s when a lot of the goaltender shuffling might happen. Teams that have a good Young jersey cheap goalie who might be in jeopardy of being taken probably want to keep them through the playoffs.

Trying to be a glass half full guy here: Does a down year now maybe help the Stars when it comes to expansion? Maybe Vegas won’t want our people since we had a bad year.

Heika: No, Vegas takes one player from every team, so the Stars are going to lose someone good. But they lost Alex jersey cheap Goligoski, Jason Demers jersey cheap, Vernon Fiddler jersey cheap and Colton Sceviour jersey cheap last summer, so the expansion draft isn’t that big of a deal. Good teams lose good players every summer.

The positive of this year is it gives an unvarnished look at the franchise. You have a clear assessment of all of your weaknesses and all of the areas where you need help. So maybe getting a new coaching staff is very needed, and you wouldn’t have seen that with a kind of OK year that ended with a playoff loss. Maybe the goalie share program really is a disaster and you might have talked yourself into another year if you were sitting 15th in GAA and save percentage. Maybe the Young jersey cheap defensemen and the 8 man defense has exposed itself as a really bad idea, and now you have to make hard decisions instead of waiting on Oleksiak, Nemeth and Johns.

The glass half full approach is maybe this year will force management to make significant changes and potentially improve the franchise for years to come. That’s the hope anyway.

What do you think the Stars could get for Sharp/Oduya in a trade? Which ex Blackhawk do you think has the highest chance of getting shipped off?

Heika: Oduya is not even playing, so I’m not even sure he is in the conversation for a trade until he tests his ankle injury in a game.

My prediction is that Dallas and Chicago find a way to make a trade for Sharp. He is exactly what Chicago needs, and Dallas could eat half his remaining salary or take an existing contract back if Chicago offers something good in the form of a prospect or draft pick.

They can make this work, and dealing Sharp back makes sense for everyone.

Which Stars player do you think has been underperforming the most this year?

Heika: I said Jason Spezza jersey cheap jersey cheap last time, and then saw he was the Normandy Homes Three Stars of the Game winner, so I’ll change it up.

Antti Niemi jersey cheap wins this week. He has pretty much fallen off a cliff in the past two months and lost any confidence the coaching staff once had in him. He also might have lost any confidence he had in himself.