Tuesday, 10.28.2008 / 7:45 PM / Feature
By Dallas Stars Staff
The Stars were back on the ice Tuesday in Frisco, placing more emphasis on the fundamental details that go a long way in winning hockey games. That means lowering the goals against and all 20 men in the line-up are responsible.
Dallas is focused on the defensive side of things and getting back to the bread and butter that has made them one of the best teams in the league for over a decade.
“There are a lot of little gaps and a lot of one-on-one battles we’re not winning,” said Steve Ott on what has gone wrong lately. “It’s been a collective effort and it’s something we’re committed to turning around. It’s not just Turco and it’s not just the D. But it’s time to stop it, right now, before it gets any worse.”
Ott is expected to be back in the line-up on Wednesday when the Stars host the Minnesota Wild at 7:30 pm (FS Southwest, News/Talk 820 WBAP). Tickets
Goaltending consultant Andy Moog was on the ice with the goalies again on Tuesday, working on positioning and getting back to the simple things.
“It’s always about attention to detail no matter how things are going,” Turco said. “For me, it’s simply emphasizing a few things. I don’t really care too much about my numbers other than wins and losses. My mentality is good and I’m keeping things in perspective and trying to stay positive. This team has to start playing better hockey tomorrow and that is what it is all about.”
Competition drills have been abundant over the last few days with the team focused on getting its all-around defensive game on the right track.
“The last two practices have been hard and detail-oriented,” said Head Coach Dave Tippett. “We’re looking to find some answers. (Competition level and hard work) are a part of it but you have to be in position, be smart and do things the right way. There are a lot of factors to defending. Just having the desire to get things done is a big part of defending but if you’re not in the right position or you’re not reading the plays right, it doesn’t matter how bad you want it. It is all encompassing.”
It’s easy to look at the goaltender when a team is letting in too many goals. But the Stars know it is a team effort that needs shoring up, not just one player.
“It really comes down to competing,” said Brenden Morrow. “A lot of the emphasis has been placed on Marty but we’re focusing on this as a team.”
Ott’s return to the line-up is expected to be a nice shot in the arm for Dallas. With injuries taking their toll, it’s nice to get a player like him back.
“He brings good energy,” said Tippett. “He brings a lot of energy every shift and we’ve missed that. He’s a physical player and does a good job for us.”
- Joel Lundqvist suffered a shoulder injury in Saturday’s game vs. Washington. Tippett said that the forward will miss four-to-six weeks with the injury.
- Tippett also said that Sergei Zubov remains on pace to hopefully see his first action of the season this weekend, probably on Saturday at Boston.
- Jere Lehtinen is scheduled to skate on Wednesday and test his injury. He remains day-to-day.
- Former Star Antti Miettinen returns to Dallas on Wednesday with Minnesota. He’s off to a good start to the season with six goals and three assists in seven games.
“We always knew Antti was a good player,” Tippett said on Tuesday. “He’s a smart player who has found a good center there in Minnesota. I’m happy for him, he’s a great kid. He is getting a lot of opportunities. I like Antti a lot. Sometimes change is just good for everybody.”