Features

Playing Together

Monday, 10.13.2008 / 7:05 PM / Feature
By Dallas Stars Staff

The Stars were back at work in Frisco on Monday. The team had a spirited practice that focused on getting back to the fundamentals of playing as a unit.

“Working together was our goal today,” said Head Coach Dave Tippett. “We have some players that have put in some good work, just not together. This was about working together today; Working as a group and not as an individual.”

Another main focus for the team these days is special teams. Dallas has scored just one power play goal in 12 chances over the first two games, something the Stars would like to change.

“We are working hard on the power play but the shots are just not getting in the net,” said Mike Modano. “We have to create more chances by skating in and out of the zone. It’s getting harder and harder to shoot in traffic because everyone on the ice is looking to block the shot. It is frustrating but we are working through it.”

Without Sergei Zubov on the blue line to quarterback the power play, the Stars have been looking for different combinations to get things going. Stephane Robidas and Philippe Boucher have experience on the point and Matt Niskanen will get more playing time in that role as well. It’s all about finding the right chemistry.

“I have been getting a few reps working the point on the power play but the power play has not come around a ton yet for us,” said Niskanen. “We had a few spurts but we have to get more consistent at it and find ways to get more pucks at the net and some will start going in for us.” 

Dallas gave up two power play goals at Nashville on Saturday night, a big reason why they dropped a 3-1 decision. It could have been a lot worse but Marty Turco played very well and kept the Stars in the game with some great stops with the Predators on a man-advantage.

“We made a couple mistakes on the penalty kill (at Nashville) and you have to be strong on both sides of special teams,” said Tippett. “We have to be on the plus-side of the ledger in that respect. We generated a lot of chances on the power play but the pucks were just not rolling our way. Our penalty kill gave up way to many chances on Saturday night.”

The Stars are focusing on improving both the power play and penalty kill – something they see as a huge part of finding success

“Special teams are very important,” said Tippett. “In games you summarize that everyone is going to play hard you take that out so, each game comes down to goaltending, special teams which can be caused by good calls or bad calls and luck. If everything is going to cancel out you have to find an advantage with special teams.”

And of course a hockey team in the NHL cannot find success without an outstanding effort every night. Dallas had that during the playoffs last season and it helped them gel and take them all the way to the Western Conference Finals. The Stars want to get that effort back.

“We have not played into our team identity yet,” said Niskanen. “We are a solid positional team but for the most part we are a harder-working team and we just have not found a way to win yet.” 

Jere Lehtinen skated on his own prior to practice and Mike Ribeiro was not on the ice as well due to an undisclosed injury. Tippett said that both might be on the ice with the team tomorrow.

The Stars host the Nashville Predators on Wednesday at 7:30 pm (FSN, News/Talk 820 WBAP). Good seats are still available -- get yours here.

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 3 2 1 0 3
C. Sceviour 3 1 2 1 3
R. Garbutt 3 2 0 2 2
A. Chiasson 3 1 1 -3 2
T. Seguin 3 1 1 2 2
V. Nichushkin 3 1 1 1 2
S. Horcoff 3 0 2 2 2
T. Daley 3 0 2 1 2
A. Roussel 3 0 2 2 2
C. Eakin 3 0 2 0 2
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 1 2 0 .923 2.37
 
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