There is a lot going on We’ll get to it. This is more time specific though. We’ll get there.
Yesterday Jim Lites and Tom Gaglardi embarrassed themselves and the Dallas Stars organization with their charade lambasting the two safest athletes in DFW sports. Today as the Stars head back to the ice to try to pick up some points the Stars will turn to two rookies in key roles hoping to jump start the offense.
Apparently these are the lines the Stars are going to roll with tonight when they hit the ice in Game One, Post National Embarrassment.
Roope Hintz has been recalled from the AHL….and is going directly into the top line centering Jamie Benn and Alexander Radulov. Benn, despite being “fucking horseshit” is also going to be on the top line tonight. Message sent, indeed.
Bringing someone who wasn’t good enough to be on the NHL roster yesterday right up into the top line certainly seems like the move a stable organization makes. This should work well.
Shall we use Natural Stat Trick to show why these lines could still be a hot mess?
Lets start with line one and Benn and Radulov without Seguin. They have 214 minutes together the last two years without him to the tune of a 51% Corsi. If the goal here is to spread the offense around keeping that duo together while finding linemates for Seguin is one way to do it.
The problem with this is that the duo of Devin Shore and Seguin have, so far, proven to be virtually useless together. The last two seasons they’re a touch over 43% in the shot attempts in 200 minutes.
Both of these lines are banking on the infusion of prospects who have performed in the AHL this season. Hintz and Denis Gurianov are being asked to be the Stars versions of Jake Guentzel, Chris Kunitz, Connor Sheary, and whoever else Sidney Crosby’s Penguins turned into gold. These two get the first shots at being Adult Dude NHLers.
Tyler Pitlick, Radek Faksa, and Blake Comeau don’t have a prayer with the way the roster is currently utilized. We can take some time to consider them, but to be honest why? They’re going to get buried in their own end taking on the most difficult defensive assignments. The Stars have a quality two way player in Faksa, and they’re turning him into Manny Malhotra.
Those three actually have 110 minutes together this year at about a 48% shot attempt rate with 70% of their faceoffs coming in their own end. That’s a surprisingly respectable total given the challenging minutes, but expecting them to hit or exceed that is unfair to them. They have an impossible job that could theoretically be useful if the rest of the roster could score given smaller defensive responsibilities, but I digress.
Mattias Janmark, Jason Spezza, and Brett Ritchie man the fourth line. They have 54 minutes this season that were surprisingly productive, coming in at a 54% of the shot share. I don’t see much happening here other than Spezza creating chances with Ritchie attempting to pick up rebounds, but it is the fourth line.
Spreading the offense around is a good first step, and giving the kids a chance to shine can’t hurt. The front office launched the nukes, and now the survivors have to huddle together to figure some things out. It doesn’t look good unless Gurianov and Hintz can be the guys they were in the AHL quickly.