ok first of Id like to clarify that this isnt a "woulda, coulda, shoulda" thread. Things happened the way they did and Injury concerns probably affected this situation as much as anything, but It is still something that has to be addressed.
I am convinced that Dallas could have won the Division easily last season, and that failing to do so was not because of being outclassed or outworked by Anaheim or San Jose, but simply due to a lack of focus by the Dallas Stars.
If you look at the records of Dallas, Anaheim, and San Jose against the Pacific Division last year you get:
1. Dallas: 24-7-1
2. Anaheim: 19-8-5
3. San Jose: 18-13-1
I was surprised when I saw this because it is a strong indication that Dallas still has the edge in head to head matches with other teams in the Division - but this record was obviously inflated by our flat out dominance against LA and Phoenix
now the NW (supposedly the toughest division in Hockey)
1. Dallas: 14-4-2
2. Anaheim: 11-5-4
3. San Jose: 11-6-3
Im sure you now realise what Im trying to get at. With Dallas dominating the 2 best divsions in the conference, how did it come to pass that we finished third in our division?
This thread is not about Detroit. They have had more talent then the stars for many years now, so it makes sense that we would have a losing record against the best team in Hockey. This thread is about the Stars disgraceful record against the other teams in the Central, and in particular Chicago, Columbus, and St. Louis.
Our record against the Central last year was 8-10-2, wheras the ducks and Sharks both had 12+ wins against the "weakest division in hockey". Theres your division title. Last year Dallas finished .500 against Detroit and Nashville (the two good central teams - 3-1 vs Nashville, 1-2-1 vs Detroit). This leavs us with a 4-7-1 record against the other 3 teams.
How can Dallas expect to win the Division or compete for the Western Conference spot in the SCF if we cant even get wins against some of the perenially worst teams in the conference? in 2005-2006 when we won the Division, we were 15-3-2 against the Central. IN other words we won the easy games, and took our fair share of the tough ones. This to me has always been the key to teams like Detroit. They ALWAYS win the games they have to. This may surprise you but Dallas had the best record of any western conference teams against the western conference. That tells me we blew our games against the Eastern Conference (which was decidedly worse then the west last year), and of course against the 3 weak central teams. If we had played .500 hockey against these teams, we would have had 111 pts last year, and 48 wins against the Western Conference alone. I think this lack of showing up for these soft games needs to be adressed.
What do you think the reasons could be? does Hitch and Andy Murry just have our numbers? to me losing against these out of division cupcakes is worse then losing to Phoenix, because you expect Phoenix to get up and try hard against a division rival. you would think the chances of an upset would be much less in a relativly meaningless game against a team that has no chance of making the playoffs and is just playing out the season...
If you ask me, I fully expect the stars to be the best against our division again, our success next season will hinge on the eastern conference games and the games against the Central, where there will be 4 "weak" teams this year.
good points, I think part of the problem is that most of those eastern conference teams have a stronger emphasis on offense instead of defense like most western teams. without Modano and Morrow it didn't help. That shouldn't be an excuse though, we were the better team. for the central I think the stars might have taken them not serious enough, which would indeed be a major concern.
Keep in mind Anaheim won the division by virtue of the "loser points". They finished with less wins than both Dallas and San Jose. Take the loser points away and we would've been ranked higher in the conference, perhaps lined up to play a weaker Preds team in the playoffs while San Jose took the division.
while it may be true that Anaheim didnt win the division as convincingly as everyone seems to remember, and yes Injuries definetly played a part in our loses, the fact of the matter still remains that we lost some games that were inexcusable to lose, a couple players injured or no.
I remember how at the start of last year everyone was talking about how there was a "country club" atmosphere around the Dallas Stars, and how making Brendan Morrow the captain would change Dallas into a more professional organization. Well it doesnt look to me like this is working when Dallas drops atleast a dozen points that should have been ours, and we have 2 lazy home performances in the playoffs. I think we have to start playing our youth more against these weak clubs - bring up a couple players from the AHL and play our established young players more time then they usually recieve. You know the young guys will give it their all for their call-up or increased responsibility, and maybe it will send a message to our old players that top effort is required in every outing.
Yes yes yes, the answer to everything on HF is always youth.
The youth on this club and in this club's system is either to young or simply not good enough to make an impact this year. In fact, the youth they're playing now really isn't that good, just good in the eyes of Stars fans who are happy it's not a Finn again. Both Eriksson and Lundqvist has average rookie seasons, and only one of those is really young.
Now, on the defensive end, Niskanen and Fistric are probably getting close, but a.) they're not good enough to displace anyone except the 7th d-man. On forward, Lessard is a bust in the eyes of the coaching staff and no one else is ready.
I highly doubt young guys will change the attidude either, which, frankly, I don't really think is a problem. I don't remember two "lazy" home games against Vancouver, I remember Ribeiro getting a potential game-tying shot pulled off the line by Mitchell. I remember this team not laying down and dying, and eventually being done in by the absence of their best special teams player in a special teams contest.
This rant really isn't directed at you, Alistar, just at the general notion of "youth will make us better." That's a mantra used by teams that have no confidence in their veterans. What I like so much about the Stars is they're willing to try and be competitive each and every year with what they have. Once you start "rebuilding," without some great strokes of luck and FA signings, you often go nowhere. Anaheim is an exception because they rode UFAs to the Cup. Pittsburgh won the world's most tilted draft lottery and is not a model any franchise can legitimately hope to follow. But people don't realize that, it's just all about the youth.
That is my rant agaisnt HF and the notion of first-round picks being gold today and all that logically follows today.
Im not saying bring up our top two lines from Iowa and let them play as our 3rd and 4th, I meant to say 1 or 2 guys that are borderline club players anyway, and have them get some experiance while at the same time letting our regular young players play in an increased role. I realise this might give the team the mindset that this is a exhibition game due to callups playing, but I would like to think the team is more proffesional then that and we saw last year that our young players for the most part exceeded expectations when they got the chance to play - I know Mike Smith looked 10x better then anyone gave him credit for at the start of the season, and he even got some wins against the big competition like Anaheim. Besides, if your going to pick a time to play your weakest players, it might as well be against the weakest teams... it could give some of our older guys a break so they can come back hard for when we need to win down in San Jose or Los Angeles.
I recognize our team is dependant on our old players, and that youth is highly over-rated here on HF boards, but Id still like to see some thought given to our future. If we can get a better performance out of the team against a cupcake by doing so I dont see the harm... of course this remains to be seen, and we wont really know until they try it.
*edit - I can see this isnt causing as much discussion as I had hoped it would, so Id like to propose the question: what can Dallas do to get the competitive edge on San Jose and Anaheim in regards to personel changes within our own organization? Im wondering because my first love is football, or soccer to you guys, and its a commonly accepted practice to sub in multiple personel from game to game depending on opposition, formation, etc... would it be an acceptable strategy to say bring up some physical players for a game against Anaheim, while dropping some overall defensive ability? Im talking about switching 3 or 4 players in or out of the lineup from game to game... Ive noticed that most teams play the exact same lineup night to night barring injuries and I think that given our injury problems last year utilizing our depth could help us get through the year better without sacrificing too much skill or production...
I still don't get the "Major concern" :-/
You showd in your first post that the Stars were among the top teams vs other top teams and lost some points vs crappy teams.
Also Anaheim (Niedermayer, Selanne, Penner vs Bertuzzi, Schneider) and San Jose (no replacement for Hannan yet, maybe a question mark behind the backup) got worse while i'd say Dallas is pretty much the same like last season or even better. Maybe a bit better Defensivly and maybe some more physical on the 4th. Heck i guess even the chances for Morro/Modano playing more games than last season is there. Alone that should make us better...
Originally Posted by Alistar
Im wondering because my first love is football, or soccer to you guys, and its a commonly accepted practice to sub in multiple personel from game to game depending on opposition, formation, etc... would it be an acceptable strategy to say bring up some physical players for a game against Anaheim, while dropping some overall defensive ability? Im talking about switching 3 or 4 players in or out of the lineup from game to game...
In soccer you team has a 2x-player roster, you can take 18 to every time and use 11+3 subs.
You haven't deal with things like waivers there. In the NHL you roster max is 23 player (most teams go with 22) with 20 of them being in a game. So if you bring up some players, you have to dump some