PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon gave their winnings from the 2015 IIHF World Championship to promote youth hockey in their home of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. They were both members of Canada’s gold medal winning team. (NHL.com)
Sun Devil Athletics are teaming up with the Arizona Coyotes to bring college games to Gila River Arena. (Coyotes.nhl.com)
Examining Sean Couturier and Jake Voracek’s contracts. (CSN Philly)
Devin Slawson sees Edmonton, Washington, and Columbus as three teams that have the potential to take a big leap forward this season. (The Hockey Writers)
Speaking of the Oilers, here’s a look at what Connor McDavid means to the franchise in the short and long-term. (CBS Sports)
Patrick Sharp sees similarities between the Dallas Stars and what the Chicago Blackhawks were like when they were on the cusp of breaking out. (Dallas Morning News)
The Dallas Stars already had a dynamic one-two punch in Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin when they added Jason Spezza last summer. Having that trio leading the charge offensively created a lot of hype about the team going into the 2014-15 campaign and listening to Seguin, it sounds like they bought into it to their detriment.
“We felt we had all these top players, all this firepower that could score a ton of goals. Automatically in training camp we were scoring a ton, but we weren’t focusing on defense,” Seguin told Sportsnet.
“That’s not the on the coaches or GMs at all. That was all on us. We felt we could outscore every team.”
In their first eight games, the Stars had scored a remarkable 28 goals and yet they were still a so-so 4-2-2 because they had surrendered as many markers. Then their offense trailed off briefly and it became apparent they weren’t ready to win low scoring games. Through Dec. 31, the Stars had a 17-14-5 record, but had only won three times when scoring two or fewer goals. By that point they were ninth in goals scored (106) and the fourth worst team in goals allowed (117).
“We were scoring a lot but not winning games because we can’t play defense,” Seguin said. “Last year, our start was terrible. I don’t think we had the right attitude in training camp, and I think that’s going to be a huge stressing point [this] September.”
Dallas has once again had an active summer, adding forward Patrick Sharp, defensemen Johnny Oduya and Stephen Johns, and goaltender Antti Niemi. This is a team with plenty of potential, but they also have a lot to prove.
Given how well Tyler Seguin played with a knee brace, news of him getting rid of it is kind of a big deal.
“I want to go free,” Seguin told the Dallas Morning News this week, confirming he’s skating without a brace and hopes to open training camp the same way.
“I’m sure you can use a smaller brace or a lighter brace, but they say that once you start relying on them, you never get off. I like skating without one, and I want to keep it that way.”
Seguin missed 10 games last February/March following a hit from Florida’s Dmitry Kulikov. Originally scheduled to miss up to six weeks, he returned in three to aid Dallas in its (ultimately futile) late playoff push, admitting the knee was “definitely not anywhere near 100 percent.”
Not like it mattered an awful lot.
Seguin had eight goals and 10 assists in 16 games after his return and then, just a few weeks after the regular season ended, scored a tournament-high nine goals in 10 games to help Canada capture gold at the Worlds.
It’s easy to see why Seguin wants to go full-stop right out of training camp. He knows last year’s slow start was a big reason why Dallas missed the playoffs, something the club expects to change after an exciting offeason in which it acquired Patrick Sharp, Johnny Oduya and Antti Niemi.
“After the slow start, we spent the next 60 games trying to catch up, and we were never able to do that,” Seguin explained. “The start is important, obviously, there are too many good teams to try to fight through a bad start.”