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.”.

Montreal Canadiens jersey cheap on field



Jordie Benn jersey cheap was quick with the self deprecating humor Monday when asked about facing his brother Jamie for the first time when the Stars play the Montreal Canadiens jersey cheap.

“Probably, when he steps on the ice, I’ll get yelled at to get off,” Jordie joked. “So I’ll be on the bench watching him play.”

The reference is to coaches’ wanting the best defenders out against the best players, and Jordie doesn’t rate quite high enough to go head to head with his Art Ross Trophy winning Young jersey cheaper brother. But the fact that Jordie is doing quite well since being traded away from Jamie isn’t lost on either sibling.

When the two face off for the first time at any level Tuesday in Montreal, there will be much focus on the physical battle between the brothers and best friends. But just as important is that Jordie has been making his own name since a February trade split them up.

“I’m excited that he can be his own person now,” Jamie told reporters in Montreal.

Jordie added: “He’s one of my biggest fans. I think he’s proud that I’m here and doing my own thing now.”

Jamie, who is two years Young jersey cheaper than Jordie, blazed a path out of junior hockey after being drafted by the Stars in 2007. The gifted winger helped Kelowna to the Memorial Cup finals, helped the Texas Stars to the AHL finals and quickly became captain of the NHL Stars. He rocketed to stardom, eventually winning a gold medal with Canada at the 2014 Olympics.

Jordie followed him to the Dallas area, moving in with Jamie and catching on with the CHL’s Allen Americans in 2009. A defensive defenseman, Jordie eventually earned promotions to the Texas Stars and then all the way up to the NHL. With Jordie serving as a seventh defenseman and getting his share of healthy scratches, many speculated that he got the job simply to keep his brother happy.

But along the way, Jordie proved the doubters wrong. He earned playing time over Patrik Nemeth jersey cheap, Jamie Oleksiak jersey cheap and Stephen Johns, and when the Canadiens decided they needed some help on defense, they traded for him.

In his 12 games since the trade, Jordie has two goals and is averaging almost 17 minutes of ice time per game. More important, the Canadiens have gone 8 3 1 with Benn in the lineup and re established themselves as Stanley Cup contenders.

“Now he can be Jordie Benn jersey cheap and not Jamie Benn jersey cheap’s brother,” Jamie said after the trade. “I think this is going to be great for him, and he can move on and move forward with his career. And I’m excited to see what happens with him.”

The two played together on hockey and baseball teams in their youth on Vancouver Island and have been pretty much inseparable since. So it’s going to be different for them facing off against each other. While they smile at the thought of the battle, both are competitive enough to make their first meeting pretty intense.

But when the game is over, they’ll still call each other pretty much every day and root for Success jersey cheap on different teams.

“It was tough to see him go, but it was fun to experience the NHL life while we had the time together,” Jamie said.

“It was a fun roller coaster in Dallas, but it’s a new adventure now,” Jordie said.

An adventure in which the older brother might just get a spotlight of his own.

Lehtonen named NHL’s second NHL Jerseys China
star: Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen jersey cheap was named second star of the week by the NHL. Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov jersey cheap was first star and Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf jersey cheap was third star.

Lehtonen went 3 0 1 with a 0.98 GAA and .959 save percentage. He earned his 36th career shutout in the process.

Is save percentage the supreme judge of a goalie’s talent



It’s a timely question for the Stars, who find themselves once again sinking in the save percentage rankings. Dallas last season was 29th in the 30 team NHL at .895 and allocated significant resources to repairing that leak. They hired goalie coach Jeff Reese and acquired veteran Antti Niemi jersey cheap at a cost of $4.5 million for the next three years. Combined with Kari Lehtonen jersey cheap’s $5.9 million contract, the Stars are spending more on goaltending than any other team in the league.

But, as they prepare for the final 11 games of the season, the save percentage again ranks 29th (.900), and that is seen as a concern.

“The style of play we play is harder on our goaltenders, so I’m going to take the hit for that,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff of a coaching style that creates high quality scoring chances for and against. “But there is a shared responsibility there.”

In other words, it can be better. Improvement is being sought, and all involved said it’s a team effort.

“We are part of the team and we want to win as a team, so we have to figure out a way to make that number better,” said Lehtonen, who is 11 points below his career save percentage of .914 but is 19 9 2 on the season. “Three years ago, my save percentage was fine and we missed the playoffs. This year, my save percentage isn’t fine, and we’re in first place. I would much rather it be the way it is now. In a perfect world, we would like to have it both ways, and we’re working toward that.”

Lehtonen has been a part of the Stars’ transition toward high event hockey that coincided with the hiring of general manager Jim Nill and Ruff Wholesale Jerseys China
in 2013. He has had time to adjust to the high scoring chances. Niemi last season played in a San Jose system that limited scoring chances, so his adjustment has been more jarring.

“It’s hard to deal with, because it doesn’t make sense,” Niemi said of a .901 save percentage and a 22 12 7 record. “But I think if you just focus on making the next save, then it all seems to work out for you. If you don’t worry about where the puck comes from or how it got there, I think you are better at your job.”

Former Stars goalie Marty Turco won two Roger Crozier Saving Grace Awards in 2001 at .925 and in 2003 at .932 but he said he tried to not let those numbers affect him.

“I always said that they paid me to win games, so that was my most important stat,” said Turco, who now works with the team in corporate development. “If you watch this team, they get the most and best scoring chances and they probably give up the most and best scoring chances, and so the goalies have to learn to win in that environment. They seem to be doing a pretty good job of that.”

That said, teams that are near the bottom of the league don’t typically win in the playoffs. So the Stars are either going to turn the NHL on its ear with a new offensive style of hockey in the postseason or they are going to have to bring the save percentage up a bit.

“Save percentage is a tough one, because it’s the quality of save that has to be made,” Ruff said. “I think our overall defending and keeping the shots down has improved. We’ve eliminated a large percentage of the big mistakes, which has helped us get to where we are at. If we want to take the next step, we have to be tighter.”