Last season was a tough one for the Dallas Stars.
They missed the postseason by three points, their starting goaltender got hurt at the wrong time, and they just simply could not get it done down the stretch when they needed to. It was a perfect storm of bad things for the Stars.
With all of that said, the Stars are primed for a bounce back season. It all starts with having a fresh voice in the room with new head coach Jim Montgomery.
After Ken Hitchcock decided to retire from coaching, the team went out and got Montgomery. Montgomery comes from the University of Denver where he spent the last five seasons as head coach of their hockey team and had a lot of success.
In Montgomery, the Stars have a guy that will bring a fresh perspective to the team. He will have new ideas to preach to his highly-talented offense along with ways to get through to youngsters as he has spent the last 13 years working with 20-somethings, which is key because this is a young man’s game now.
Montgomery will also help the team’s offense. He will implement a system that will focus on puck-possession, being creative with the puck, and applying pressure when they do not have the puck, all things that made is Denver hockey club so successful.
Speaking of offense, they will have to play a big part in helping this team rebound in the upcoming season. Having guys like Jamie Benn (79 points), Tyler Seguin (78 points), and Alexander Radulov (72 points) certainly helps and with them, the club has a front three that can compete and score with anyone.
Secondly, if starting goaltender Ben Bishop can stay healthy, this team should be able to get back to the playoffs. In my mind, his knee injury is what cost the Stars a playoff spot.
Bishop was actually really good in his first year in Dallas. He finished the year with 26 wins and posted a 2.49 GAA, a .916 save percentage and five shutouts in 53 games.
Speaking of goaltending, the Stars now have a reliable backup in Anton Khudobin. Khudobin was solid last season for the Bruins as he went 16-6-7 with a 2.56 GAA, a .913 save percentage, and 1 shutout.
Lastly, this team now has a solid defensive corps. Their young and last season, they managed to finish in the top seven in goals against, somewhere the Stars are not accustomed to with that particular statistic.
Stars fans should be excited for next season and should be prepared to be contenders once again in both the Central Division and Western Conference.