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.”

NHL draft jerseys news for Dallas



It’s the best news the Stars have had this year, through perhaps excitement should be low key.

Dallas was one of the winners in the NHL draft lottery Saturday in Toronto, moving from eighth to third overall. That means the Stars will have their highest pick since moving to Texas in 1993.

The bit of caution? Dallas’ two previous top picks were Richard Jackman (fifth overall in 1996) and Scott Glennie (eighth overall in 2009), and neither worked out for the team. Jackman played 38 games with the Stars and Glennie one.

And this isn’t expected to be an incredibly talented draft.

Still, moving up five spots Wholesale Jerseys
helps the Stars in a lot of ways. In addition to creating a chance to find a significantly improved level of prospect, the Stars also open the door to trade the pick if another team wants to move up.

“It’s a very valuable asset,” general manager Jim Nill said. “You clearly want to pick as high as you can, and we’re moving from eighth to third, so that’s a huge deal for us.”

The Stars still have a chance at a second first round pick. They’ll get Anaheim’s first rounder if the Ducks win their West semifinal playoff series vs. Edmonton, though the Ducks are trailing 2 0. That pick would be in the 28 31 range.

The NHL gives teams three chances to move up in the draft lottery, and Dallas hit on its third try. New Jersey went from fifth to first on the initial draw. Philadelphia went from 13th to second on the next draw. And Dallas went from eighth to third on the third draw.

According to the NHL, in the third drawing, the Stars had the seventh greatest percentage likelihood among the 13 remaining clubs eligible for selection (6.5 percent). After dropping from No. 8 to No. 9 as a result of the second drawing, Dallas climbed to No. 3, improving its drafting position as a result of the draft lottery for the first time in franchise history.

That means Colorado slides to fourth, Vancouver to fifth, Vegas to sixth and Arizona to seventh. The lottery will be in effect only for the first round of the NHL draft June 23 24 in Chicago. The remaining rounds will draft according to finish in the 2016 17 season.

The 2017 draft is seen as unremarkable, so the Stars probably won’t be getting a game changing player. The consensus is that Canadian center Nolan Patrick (the nephew of former Stars assistant coach James Patrick) and Swiss center Nico Hischier will go first and second. The draft projections get jumbled at that point.

Moving up on a lot of boards is Gabriel jersey cheap Vilardi. He’s one of the bigger forwards (6 3, 201) and one of the Young jersey cheapest players (he won’t turn 18 until Aug. 16). The versatile Canadian center had 61 points (29 goals, 32 assists) in 49 games with Windsor (OHL) last season.

Also moving up is Miro Heiskanen, a skilled Finnish defenseman, and Owen Tippett, a winger out of Ontario. Dallas also could go the Minnesota high school route again, as it did last season when it selected Riley Tufte 25th overall. This year, center Casey Mittelstadt had 30 points (13 goals, 17 assists) in 24 games with Green Bay in the USHL.

But the draft won’t be won or lost in the first round. Nill said the key for his team will be finding depth in players throughout the draft.

“I think any draft is a good one if you can take two players out of it, so you have to do your work and try to get something in every round,” Nill said. “Clearly, your chances are going to be better if you draft higher, so this is a great opportunity for our scouts and for our entire organization. This is a big boost for us.”.

Benn brothers philosophical about trade that breaks them up



“It was pretty hectic. He was out of here pretty quick,” Jamie Benn jersey cheap said. “He was just packing his bag and receiving phone calls. I just wished him good luck.”

But the Stars captain said he believes that his older brother could benefit from the separation.

“I told him that last night,” Jamie Benn jersey cheap said Tuesday morning. “Now he can be Jordie Benn jersey cheap and not Jamie Benn jersey cheap’s brother. 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.”

Jordie Benn jersey cheap has been one of the Stars’ more consistent depth defensemen for years, but fans have called him a product of nepotism. With Montreal acquiring Jordie Benn jersey cheap hoping he can help them win a Stanley Cup, it shows he has value with another organization. And even Jordie Benn jersey cheap admits that gives him an opportunity to prove himself.

“I get that a lot in Dallas, I’m hidden behind a superstar, which is true, my brother’s an amazing player.” Jordie Benn jersey cheap told the media in Montreal Tuesday. “So yeah, I just get to come here and I get to be Jo Benn, and not Jamie Benn jersey cheap’s brother.”

Still, the 300 plus games the two played together in Dallas were a dream come true. Jamie Benn jersey cheap was a fifth round draft pick in 2007 and started playing for the Stars in 2009. Jordie Benn jersey cheap moved in with his brother and started playing with the CHL’s Allen Americans. A strong run by Jordie in Allen created an opening with the AHL’s Texas Stars, and the older brother started his climb.

In 2011 12, he played Wholesale NHL Jerseys
three games with Dallas in the NHL. Then, 26 games the next season. Then, 78 in 2013 14. Through each season, he was supposed to be beat out by Young jersey cheaper defensemen. Through each season, he won the job.

It was an impressive display.

“He definitely worked his way up through the system, it was good to see,” Jamie Benn jersey cheap said. “He’s a hard working guy and he’s got a great opportunity to go win a cup on a great team in a great organization.”

Jordie Benn jersey cheap believes he can make his mark in Montreal.

“I skate well. I penalty kill. I’m physical when I can be. I just try and do what a stay at home D man is supposed to do, and that’s get the puck to the forwards and let them do the work,” Jordie Benn jersey cheap told Montreal media. “Obviously, I have personal ties with my brother being there, but we’re big boys now and we know what could happen. Hopefully, I can help the team win and hopefully I can play 300 or 400 games in Montreal. I’m just a kid living a dream and obviously to play in Montreal is pretty exciting.”

As for Jamie Benn jersey cheap, he has to help the Stars move forward through a disappointing season and help them get back on their feet before next year. He said his feeling Tuesday was thankful he and his brother were able to play together so long.

“It was fun while it lasted,” Benn said. “I wished him luck. He’s got a great opportunity going to Montreal and playing for a great team. We’re going to move forward here, and he’s going to move on.”

Of course, the schedule makers do have the Stars playing at Montreal on March 28. That would be the first time the Benn brothers face off against each other at any level of competition.

Are Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen to blame for the Stars’ slow start



Both goalies have had their moments of greatness, but after nine games the Stars rank 24th in goals against average at 3.22 and 24th in save percentage at .893. That’s a huge reason for a 3 4 2 start.

“Those are concerning numbers,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “There’s a lot of tough chances in the game, and you have to get big saves. Those two guys know they need to be better. We’ve worked hard in cutting the shots down, cutting the opportunities down. We were giving up way too many chances in the first three or four games, but we’ve done a really good job in the last two games.”

It’s a difficult debate, because only goalies really know how to do their job. So it’s tough to just say try harder or work harder. Lehtonen and Niemi are trying hard and are working hard.

“I think that would be the wrong mind set, that I have to ‘play greater.’ I want to play great every night. I think if you try to do too much, that’s wrong,” Niemi said.

“When you learn to have the same focus, then you’re going to have the chance to be Success jersey cheapful in the long run. That’s always how I have looked at it, and I think anyone who has tried to do this will agree with me.”

Niemi and Lehtonen were joined in a goalie share program last season, and while both saw their statistics decline, each had a winning record.

Lehtonen and Niemi each had 25 wins, and the Stars won the Central Division. Aided by the best offense in the NHL scoring an average of 3.23 goals per game, the goalies found a happy place where mistakes were covered and they didn’t have to be perfect.

This season, the Stars are 26th in the league in scoring at 2.22 goals per Cheap Jerseys
game, and there are losses like the overtime defeat in which Niemi allowed a 6 on 4 goal against with 15.1 seconds left to tie the game.

“That’s not on our goaltender. He gave us a chance to win,” Ruff said.

But he added: “It starts with the team first, but then you do need big saves. If you look at that game, their goaltender made some big ones.”

Bobrovsky sits seventh in the NHL with a .941 save percentage, including stopping 68 of 70 against the Stars. So when an opposition goalie is doing that, does it get into the head of Niemi or Lehtonen?

“I think it’s a fair question, but we just can’t think that way, that we have to win the game by ourselves,” Lehtonen said. “You want to help in any way you can. You want to make every save if you can and not allow any goals. But you never know what kind of game it’s going to be, so you have to be prepared for anything and then you have to react the right way.”

Both goalies have mixed good games with clunkers. With the first visit of the St. Louis Blues jersey cheap on Thursday, the memory harkens back to last season when Lehtonen was amazing in saving Game 6 of the second round playoff series against the Blues and then forgettable in losing Game 7.

And while the veteran netminder said he moved past Game 7 in the summer, he said he still is concerned about his 1 3 1 record in 2016 17.

“I think the thing that bothers me the most this year is the one win,” Lehtonen said. “That’s the statistic I worry about the most, and I know I need more than that.”