The Dallas Stars had the best offense in the NHL last season, but only the 19th-best goals-against. It was a combination that made them arguably the most exciting team to watch, but also one that ended with a second-round defeat to the St. Louis Blues.
In the Stars’ four losses to the Blues, they surrendered 20 goals combined. When it was over, much of the blame was assigned to their two goalies, and by extension to their general manager.
Just don’t expect the Stars to dramatically change their ways in 2016-17. They are who they are, and they don’t want to be anything else.
“Everybody is raving about Team North America (at the World Cup), and that’s the way we play hockey,” GM Jim Nill said, per the Dallas Morning News. “We are who we are, and we don’t want to get away from that. We’re a high-end, high-octane type of team. That’s how we’re built.”
That being said, head coach Lindy Ruff is still aiming “to take 10 percent off that goals against,” which would put the Stars’ goals-against around No. 10 in the league.
After all, even the high-flying Pittsburgh Penguins, not exactly known for playing lock-it-down hockey, found a way to put up good defensive numbers on their way to winning it all.
“As I’ve said to them all along, I know our team is going to score goals,” said the winning head coach, Mike Sullivan. “In order to win championships, you got to keep it out of your net. You have to become a team that is stingy defensively. Everybody has to buy in to that idea for us to get to where we want to go. To their credit, they did, down to a man.”
Related: Team North America was fun