Stars’ current level of hockey has them right in the middle of the playoff hunt



The odd arithmetic of playoff qualification has laid itself out pretty clearly for the Stars after their last three games.

In going 1 Chinese Wholesale Jerseys
0 2, Dallas picked up four of six possible points despite winning just one game. That’s the twist in the parity driven NHL, where you can pick up points even while losing.

But at the heart of that run is math that is a little more logical. The Stars earned those points in defeat by producing a brand of hockey that was significantly improved from what they had been playing.

In those three games against Washington, Minnesota and Buffalo, the Stars averaged 36.3 shots on goal and gave up an average of 27.3. Jamie Benn jersey cheap, Tyler Seguin jersey cheap and Jason Spezza jersey cheap jersey cheap scored three points apiece. And while the special teams haven’t exactly been fixed, they were outscored only 4 3 in that span, a step in the right direction.

“I think we’ve worked as hard as we can possibly work these last three games, and we finally got some breaks to go our way,” coach Lindy Ruff said. “You’ve got to win games, and you’ve got to produce. We’re sitting there close, but when we come out of the break, we’ve got to win.”

The Stars are 20 20 10 after 50 games, and as they exit the All Star break Tuesday with a home game against Toronto, they have a real opportunity to make a run at the playoffs. The pace for the second wild card playoff spot in the Western Conference is about 88 points. That means Dallas needs somewhere near 38 points in the final 32 games or a point pace of about .593.

That’s a realistic goal if the team plays like it has been.

“Yeah, for sure,” captain Jamie Benn jersey cheap said when asked if the gap was manageable. “We wish we were in a playoff spot right now, but we can make up three points. We just have to take advantage of our next three home games here.”

Dallas finishes out a six game homestand this week before it attempts to tackle its road demons. It can face the journey one step at a time, knowing that a few proper paces have already been put in place. Veteran winger Patrick Sharp jersey cheap appears to be back to full health after suffering from concussions earlier in the season. He had two goals Thursday in a 4 3 win over Buffalo. Patrick Eaves jersey cheap jersey cheap has two goals and an assist in the last three games. Radek Faksa is returning after missing two games with a lower body injury.

There is a possibility for this team to play its best hockey.

“I don’t think we have quite hit our stride the way we know that we are capable of,” Sharp said. “I think the last three or four or five games we have played really well, and hopefully that’s a sign of things to come.”

While the season statistics that have the Stars among the worst teams in special teams and goaltending don’t offer much hope, the more recent numbers do show that the defending Central Division champions could start playing a little more like last season.

“Win them all . try to win them all,” Ruff said of his plan. “We got four out of our last six points, but I think we could have won all three of them.”

And just being in position to make that declaration says a lot about how this team is getting better.

NHL expects teams to lose good players in the expansion draft



LAS VEGAS, NV JUNE 22: New Las Vegas NHL franchise owner Bill Foley and commissioner Gary Bettman of the National Hockey League pose for a photo during the Board of Governors Press Conference prior to the 2016 NHL Awards at Encore Las Vegas on June 22, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The NHL’s board of governors approved expanding to Las Vegas, making the franchise the 31st team in the league. The team will start play during the 2017 18 season and play at the newly built T Mobile Arena. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Here’s my take on the NHL’s expansion draft next summer: Be prepared to lose a good player.

The new owner of the Las Vegas expansion team paid $500 million for the right to be in the league, so he deserves a good roster. The NHL is taking a risk on another Sun Belt destination, so they need this to work out. And, honestly, if you want people to be excited about hockey in Las Vegas, you need the team to win quickly.

The only way to do that is to force teams to expose talented players that the squad in Las Vegas can pluck. If the club elects to make a restricted free agent goaltender available in order to meet this requirement, that goaltender must have received his qualifying offer prior to the submission of the club’s protected list.

Players with potential career ending injuries who have missed more than the previous 60 consecutive games (or who otherwise have been confirmed to have a career threatening injury) may not be used to satisfy a club’s player exposure requirements, unless approval is received from the NHL. on Saturday, June 17, 2017. on June 20. The announcement of their selections will be made June 21.

It’s pretty easy to get to three protected defensemen with the Stars in John Klingberg jersey cheap, Stephen Johns and Esa Lindell. Julius Honka seems to not need protection, as his 18 and 19 year old seasons have “slid” and are not considered pro seasons.

But what if the Stars make a trade for a big name defenseman Cheap Jerseys
or sign one in free agency. Do you leave him unprotected? Do you push for a player on a one year deal? It’s going to be challenging for GMs, agents and players.

But that’s the way it should be. Teams should be forced into giving up something good. It’s incumbent upon the front office to use every trick it can, but the bottom line is this team needs good players and it needs to be good quickly.

That’s what’s good for the league.

The Stars have already lost their top minute defensemen from last season in Alex jersey cheap Goligoski and also are expected to lose Jason Demers jersey cheap and Kris Russell jersey cheap to free agency. Los Angeles could lose Milan Lucic jersey cheap, Boston could lose Loui Eriksson jersey cheap, Tampa Bay could lose Steven Stamkos jersey cheap.

So if expansion costs the Stars someone like Brett Ritchie, then that’s just part of the cost of doing business. The NHL has definitely learned a few valuable lessons from past expansions, and they want to do it better this time.

Jason Spezza jersey cheap here



today (FSSW/1310 AM The Ticket)

StorylineIt should be a big deal when the defending Stanley Cup champions come to town, but even that seems meaningless in this disappointing Stars season. Former Stars defenseman Trevor Daley jersey cheap is out with a knee injury and still has not made his return to AAC since being traded to Chicago. New defenseman Greg Pateryn arrived Tuesday and won’t play. Remi Elie probably won’t make his NHL debut. It is what it is for Stars fans right now.

Lindy Ruff has liked matching Cody Eakin jersey cheap against Crosby in the past, but the guess is he gives Faksa the assignment tonight. Faksa has 28 points (8 goals, 20 assists) in 60 games this season. Crosby ranks second in the league with 67 points (34 goals, 33 assists) in 54 games. In 11 career games against the Stars, Crosby has 15 points (8 goals, 7 assists) and is plus 5.

Key number 3.48

Pittsburgh leads the NHL in scoring with 3.48 goals per game and in shots on goal per game at 34.1. Dallas ranks 29th in goals against per game at 3.23 and last in save percentage at .894.

NotableDallas (23 28 10) is coming off a 6 3 loss at home against Boston Sunday and is 17 10 6 at home. Dallas is 3 8 0 in its past 11 games.

Pittsburgh (28 14 8) is coming off a 4 2 win over the Flyers in their outdoor game Saturday and is 13 10 5 on the road. Pittsburgh is 8 1 3 in its past 12 games.

Antti Niemi jersey cheap will get the start in goal for Dallas. He is 10 9 4 on the season with a 3.19 GAA and .899 save percentage. He is 6 2 1 in his career against the Penguins with a 2.42 GAA and .926 save percentage.

Matt Murray is expected to start in net for the Penguins. He is 23 7 3 with a 2.27 GAA and .926 save percentage. He has never played against the Stars.

Patrik Nemeth jersey cheap and Jamie Oleksiak jersey cheap were healthy scratches last game. One will come in to take the place of Jordie Benn jersey cheap, who was traded to Montreal Monday.

Dallas ranks 30th in penalty kill Success jersey cheap at 73.3 percent and 30th in power play goals against at 54.

Pittsburgh ranks 7th in power play Success jersey cheap at 21.7 percent and has 44 power play goals.

Pittsburgh is second in the NHL in third period scoring at 80 goals. Dallas has allowed more third period goals than any other team in the league at 73.

Pittsburgh is 26 0 0 when leading after two periods. Dallas is 1 21 2 when trailing after two periods.

Dallas is 8 14 4 vs. the East. Pittsburgh is 12 4 5 vs. the West.

Lauri Korpikoski jersey cheap will play his 600th NHL game and Brett Ritchie his 100th.

In 41 career games against the Penguins, Jason Spezza jersey cheap jersey cheap has 48 points (17 goals, 31 assists) and is plus 14.

He said it”It’s an opportunity Wholesale NHL Jerseys
for our group to accomplish a lot of stuff inside a game because we felt we were right there with them last year. And same type of team, a lot of speed, create a lot of chances. We know we’re going to get chances. We’re going to play against some players that can make some special plays.”

Stars coach Lindy Ruff on facing the defending Stanley Cup champions

“The last couple of practices I’ve really liked. It seems like he’s got himself in a better place. Even the day before yesterday, I liked his practice. The goal is to get him back in there, get him playing again. I think he got a little bit out of sync and all we’re trying to do is get him back in a better place.”

Stars coach Lindy Ruff on starting Antti Niemi jersey cheap in goal for just the second time in the past nine games

“He’s getting closer. There’s a good chance we could see him in the next couple games. Not today, but after that, I think we’d take a chance of trying to get him up and running. I don’t think it’s going to be easy for him to have that much time off, but he’s at a place now where I think he’s going to be cleared to play.”

what about Jets in game



The Jets got what the Stars wanted Thursday.

Exactly what they wanted.

Winnipeg took a 4 3 win over Dallas at American Airlines Center and gained its first three game winning streak of the season. In doing so, it took points from the Stars in the battle for playoff positioning in the Western Conference and seized the potential for serious momentum going forward.

Dallas, meanwhile, slipped back to the all too comfortable .500 mark in the NHL standings at 21 21 10 (52 points) and lost center Jason Spezza jersey cheap jersey cheap for at least a few games because of injury.

Talk about dj vu all over again.

It would be easy to argue that the Stars were the better team. They had an 83 43 advantage in shot attempts and a 42 29 advantage in shots on goal. They won the hits battle at 26 16. They won the faceoff battle at 33 26. They did a lot of things right.

But Benn was stopped on a breakaway in the second period when the Stars had three skaters to Winnipeg’s five, and the Jets scored right after that save. Benn hit the crossbar late in the third period with a chance to tie, and Brett Ritchie slipped a puck just wide with an open net and a chance to tie in the dying seconds.

On the goal that proved to be the game winner for the Jets, Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen jersey cheap gave up the puck behind the net and didn’t skate back around in time to stop Nikolaj Ehlers’ shot.

And because of all that, the Jets were the better team. They have been during this season series as they lead 3 1 0 with the final meeting on Valentine’s Day in Winnipeg. That could be huge, because the Stars are in a fight with six teams trying to get the two wild card playoff spots in the West, and the Jets are one of those teams.

And while Winnipeg has played two more games and is only two points ahead in the standings (25 25 4, 54 points), it has been dominant within the Cheap NHL Jerseys
Central Division. The Jets are 13 4 1 in games against Central opponents, while Dallas slipped to 8 10 4 within the division.

It’s been like having a gif of a missed shot rolling on your Twitter feed for the entire season.

“We had our opportunities, but we gave them their opportunities too and they made the best of it,” Benn said. “That’s a tough one. I thought we were going pretty good tonight, actually.”

Pretty good is fine when you’re leading the division like the Stars did last season. It’s not so great when you’re trying to dig yourself out of hole.

“We had plenty of good chances to make a difference,” Ruff said. “It seems like a common theme, but I like the work that went into it.”

Another common theme has been injuries. Spezza took a huge hit from Adam Lowry jersey cheap and immediately left the game. Ruff said that he would have more on the injury Friday but added that “he’s going to miss some time. It’s probably more than days.”

Days in which the Stars need to find way to respond.

“We have to let this one go,” winger Patrick Eaves jersey cheap jersey cheap said. “We can’t sit on this one too long. We will learn from our mistakes and be ready for Saturday [when the Chicago Blackhawks jersey cheap visit].”