Thursday, September 13, 2018

Dallas Stars 2018-19 season preview



      With big expectations, the Dallas Stars missed the playoffs for the second straight year, and didn't even make any moves. While their first line isn't the issue, depth is. Before we look into that, here's some fast facts for the Dallas Stars.



Head Coach: Jim Montgomery
General Manager: Jim Nill
Arena: American Airlines Center
AHL Affiliate: Texas Stars
2017-18 record: 42-32-8 (92 points)
2017-18 placement: 6th
Division: Central
2017-18 goals leader: Tyler Seguin (40)
2017-18 assists leader: Jamie Benn (43)
2017-18 points leader: Jamie Benn (79)
2017-18 points leader (defenseman): John Klingberg (67)
Captain: Jamie Benn
Assistant Captains: Tyler Seguin, Alex Radulov, Jason Spezza
2018 first round: Ty Dellandrea

Offseason additions: Blake Comeau, Roman Polak, Anton Khudobin

Offseason subtractions: Kari Lehtonen, Dam Hamhuis, Antoine Roussel, Curtis McKenzie, Greg Pateryn.

Forwards: Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn are among the best duos in hockey. Alex Radulov is also a good player on that line. Coming back from Russia, Valeri Nichushkin is looking for a good return. Radek Faska is an underrated player on that line. So is Mattias Janmark, who will either be a third line winger or fourth line center. Martin Hanzal needs to figure it out and stay healthy this year. He played in just 38 games last year, with 10 points. For sure, it's an interesting forward core.

Forward lines:

Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Alex Radulov
Martin Hanzal - Jason Spezza - Valeri Nichushkin
Devin Shore - Radek Faska - Tyler Pitlick
Blake Comeau - Mattias Janmark - Brett Ritchie
Other: Gemel Smith, Remi Elie.

Defenseman: John Klingberg was one of the league's best defenders in 2017-18, putting up 67 points, and was a Norris contender. I think he can contend for the Norris again this year. Esa Lindell is underrated as his partner. Julius Honka is a good powerplay guy. Miro Heiskanen, the 2017 third overall pick, will get a shot in the top-4 this year.

Defensive pairs:

Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
Miro Heiskanen - Julius Honka
Marc Methot - Stephen Johns
Other: Roman Polak

Goalies: Ben Bishop had a down in his first time in Dallas, but I'd expect him to be better. While a lot less paid, Anton Khudobin isn't as good as Kari Lehtonen but is still a serviceable backup.

Goalie alignment:

Ben Bishop
Anton Khudobin

Predictions:

Top five scorers

Tyler Seguin
Jamie Benn
John Klingberg
Alex Radulov
Radek Faska

Playoffs: No
Division: 6th

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