The Dallas Stars will look to take advantage of playing three of its four games this week at home. They’ll face the struggling Vancouver Canucks, the New Jersey Devils, Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers.
On Sunday night, the Stars will take on the Canucks. The Canucks are struggling in virtually every aspect of the game except the penalty kill. Dallas needs to not look past its opponent and think that it will be an easy win. They need to come out with a high energy level from the beginning of the game and get the first goal. If they can manage to get the first goal then the Stars will need to keep pushing the pace, playing in the offensive zone and scoring goals. Dallas will need to play a good 60-minute road game and take care of the puck if they want to come out with a win.
The Canucks have a good opportunity to get the weak power play going since Dallas doesn’t have the strongest penalty kill. The team needs to get shots to the net since Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi have both given up some goals this year. The Stars decided to split up the top line of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Brett Ritchie because of all the injuries that have been sustained, and they are looking for a more balanced attack. The Canucks need to avoid turnovers and mental mistakes because Dallas will take advantage of those errors.
On Tuesday night, the Stars return to the American Airlines Center for the start of a four-game home stand. The team will take on the New Jersey Devils, who have been playing good hockey of late. Dallas will need to get some traffic in front of the goaltenders because if they can see the puck then the save will most likely be made. If the Stars can manage to get the lead then they’ll want to keep pushing the pace and not sit back since the Devils have some come-from-behind wins. If the home team can stop New Jersey’s top line of Taylor Hall, Travis Zajac and P.A. Parenteau then they should have a good chance at winning the game since they are really the only line producing right now.
New Jersey will need to take advantage when they are on the man advantage since the Stars have had trouble killing penalties. If the Devils should get down then they need to keep battling since Dallas will give up some goals. New Jersey needs to avoid the turnovers in the neutral zone and offensive zone.
On Thursday night, the Stars and Avalanche face off in a divisional matchup. Dallas needs to come out with some energy and not look past a struggling Avalanche team. They will need to stay out of the penalty box because despite its record, the Avalanche still have a decent power play. It would help if Dallas could get the first goal since Colorado isn’t a good team when playing from behind. The Stars need to take advantage of a team that is struggling in all aspects of the game.
The Avs need to get the puck to the net since Lehtonen and Niemi will allow some soft goals. Colorado needs to make Dallas turn the puck over and then take advantage of those turnovers. Semyon Varlamov and Calvin Pickard will need to be on alert because despite all the injuries Dallas has some players that can put the puck into the net.
The Stars close out a week with a visit from Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers started the season off hot, but have come back to reality a little bit since. The key to beating the Oilers is shutting down McDavid and the first line of Edmonton. Dallas will need to stay out of the penalty box since the Oilers have a decent power play. They’ll have to beat the Oilers at even strength since Edmonton has great special teams stats. Dallas will need to get traffic in front of Cam Talbot or Jonas Gustavsson to make life difficult for the goalies.
The Oilers will need to keep Benn and Seguin in-check if they want to have a shot at winning the game. They’ll need to take advantage when on the power play since Dallas has a weak penalty kill. Edmonton needs to use its speed through the neutral zone to create odd man rushes and chances in transition. The Oilers will also need to get some pucks to the net and get the forecheck game established to have extended time in the offensive zone.