9:35 AM EDT, Sun May 19, 2019
2 hours ago
The Dallas Stars as Game of Thrones Characters

The Dallas Stars as Game of Thrones Characters

The North Stars Remember... With the series finale of Game of Thrones set to air this evening, it is almost impossible to get away from all the coverage around the event. Will Danaerys or Jon Snow end up on the Iron Throne? Will Ned Stark make a shocking return from the grave? Will Westeros still be intact when the credits roll? Who knows! What we do know is that there are not enough articles comparing hockey players to Game of Thrones characters. Let’s dive into who the Dallas Stars players would be in Westeros. Jamie Benn — The Night King He rarely says a word outside his own ranks,...
22 hours ago
Saturday Links: Esa’s Impact

Saturday Links: Esa’s Impact

Jim Montgomery will look to the big Finn to take a “core leadership” role. Plus, the Western Conference Finals are tied again, Worlds updates, and more. Esa Lindell will be with the Dallas Stars for a long time, and the Dallas Stars are looking forward to every minute of it. The big, quick defensive defenseman is expected to become one of the best in the NHL – and to help bring the rest of the blueline with him. Sean Shapiro takes a look at the six-year, $34.8 million deal that will help ensure the Stars’ defense is “really as good as anybody in the league,” according to GM Jim...
May 17, 2019
Dallas Stars End-of-Season Grades: For Bottom-Six Forwards, It’s Time to Put Up or Shut Down

Dallas Stars End-of-Season Grades: For Bottom-Six Forwards, It’s Time to Put Up or Shut Down

How much does a shutdown line really help? So I guess the fortune teller’s right Should have seen what’s there and not some kind of holy light *** First off, let’s just clarify something: the terms “top-six” and “bottom-six” are nebulous, and often applied arbitrarily. Surely you, gentle reader, followed many of the games this season, wherein the lines at morning skate (or warmups) would be listed in a certain order. Usually that order had the confusing tendency to list the Radek Faksa/Blake Comeau line third, despite the pair almost always seeing top-six time-on-ice in any...
May 17, 2019
Friday Links: Spezza Opens Up About His Future

Friday Links: Spezza Opens Up About His Future

The veteran center will continue his NHL career, but it won’t be in Dallas. Plus, Esa Lindell signs an extension, the Bruins sweep the Carolina Hurricanes, and more. For the first time in his lengthy career, Jason Spezza will hit July 1 as an unrestricted free agent. Granted, there’s still a chance that he re-signs with the Dallas Stars, but it seems that both he and Stars management are on the same page — Spezza will continue his NHL career, but it won’t be in Dallas: “I think Jason knows where he’s at in his career, we had a good discussion,’’ Stars GM Jim Nill told me on...
May 16, 2019
Esa Lindell Signed To 6-Year, $5.8M Per Year Contract Extension

Esa Lindell Signed To 6-Year, $5.8M Per Year Contract Extension

The young defenseman, a stalwart on the top pairing, posted a career year in goals and points this season. The Dallas Stars announced today the re-signing for top pairing defenseman Esa Lindell. The 24-year-old Finnish blueliner was coming off a career year: 11 goals, 21 assists and 32 points and averaged over 24 minutes a game during the regular season. That’s nearly two minutes more than either of his two prior seasons. In the announcement, general manager Jim Nill said about Lindell, “When you combine his strength, conditioning, hockey IQ and skill, he has become an integral part of...
May 16, 2019
Thursday Links: The Cap, And What To Do With It

Thursday Links: The Cap, And What To Do With It

Sean Shapiro takes a seat for a new round of Armchair GM. Plus, the Sharks’ controversial Game 3 win, the weight of history shifts both ways, and more. The Dallas Stars want to improve during the offseason. How they do that will be the subject of much speculation over the next few weeks. So who wants to play a few rounds of Armchair GM? Jim Lites is a known known when it comes to qualifying his RFAs (he’s going to do it, even if they’re already on the way to another league). So Sean Shapiro looked directly at the deals he expects for players who separated themselves from the...
May 15, 2019
Wednesday Links: The Future of the Defense

Wednesday Links: The Future of the Defense

The Stars’ blue line was solid this year, but there are a lot of questions heading into the offseason. Plus, playoff updates, what we can learn from the Conference Finalists, and more. One of the biggest questions heading into the offseason for the Dallas Stars is how to tinker with the team’s blue line. The Stars were one of the best defensive teams in the league, led by top defenseman John Klingberg and emerging superstar Miro Heiskanen, not to mention the always reliable Esa Lindell. But while those first two will still be rather cheap for a couple more years, Lindell is another...
May 14, 2019
Tuesday Links: A Big Turnaround, A Bright Future

Tuesday Links: A Big Turnaround, A Bright Future

Mike Heika contemplates an overnight success seven years in the making. Plus, Conference Finals updates, news of the Worlds, and more. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how far the Dallas Stars have come over the past decade. From bankruptcy and reorganization to a sold-out 2020 Winter Classic, the team’s fortunes have turned dramatically – and they haven’t done it by themselves. Stars senior staff writer Mike Heika talks to team executives about how far the Stars have come, and where they want to go next: The past few months have been a chance to reflect the successes, but team...
May 13, 2019
Monday Links: From Zero to Hero

Monday Links: From Zero to Hero

Stars prospect Tye Felhaber’s OHL career maybe be over, but his professional future is still bright. Plus, a belated happy Mother’s Day, playoff updates, and more. Not even a year ago, Tye Felhaber was an undrafted skater that most people had never heard about it. Now, the 20 year-old was tearing it up in the OHL playoffs before the Ottawa 67’s fell to the Guelph Storm in the OHL Finals: “This story is impossible that it really happened but it happened and it’s amazing. It’s just great for kids who are in the same situation. Nothing is impossible,” [fitness guru Tony] Greco...
May 13, 2019
How Rookie Head Coach Jim Montgomery Outperformed Past NCAA Coaches In His First Season

How Rookie Head Coach Jim Montgomery Outperformed Past NCAA Coaches In His First Season

The transition from college to the NHL coaching ranks hasn’t always been kind to those that attempted it in the past. Jim Montgomery’s first year behind the Dallas Stars bench was fairly successful comparatively. Last summer, the Dallas Stars hired Jim Montgomery to be head coach. Montgomery had been the head coach at the University of Denver, winning a national championship and sporting a resume of winning at all levels he had coached in his second career after retiring from playing hockey professionally. It was a risky hire for several reasons. There were big expectations heading into...
May 11, 2019
Saturday Links: We’ve Seen This Place Before

Saturday Links: We’ve Seen This Place Before

The Stars need to make sure 2019 isn’t a repeat of 2016, writes Sean Shapiro. Plus, Let’s Make A Deal (for Mats Zuccarello), a new Worlds order, and more. The Dallas Stars overperformed this season, and the stats back that up. With a rookie coach, a teenager among its top defenders, and often just one scoring line, they made it to Game 7 of the second round. And that’s the nightmare that haunts many Stars fans. The Victory Green gang did the same in 2016 only to start their summer early for the next two seasons. How do they prepare to avoid a return to postseason exile? For starters,...
May 10, 2019
DBD Conference Final Predictions: And Then There Were Four

DBD Conference Final Predictions: And Then There Were Four

The Stars may be out, but the NHL playoffs move on. After doing a rather poor job predicting the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, we here at Defending Big D tried to redeem ourselves with our second round picks. It did not go well. Unless you were Mark, that is: Collectively, we went 0-4 on predicting the second round winners. But we will not be deterred! We will succeed this time! Or at least break even. So here are our predictions for the Western and Eastern Conference Finals. As before, we’ll keep a tally for each series so you see what the consensus is. And...
May 10, 2019
Friday Links: Exit Interviews

Friday Links: Exit Interviews

The Stars’ players, coaches, and management open up about the 2018-19 season. Plus, what to look forward to next year, Boston takes Game 1 over Carolina, and more. The Dallas Stars’ season is over. That still feels weird to type, but reality sunk in yesterday as the Stars cleaned out their lockers for the summer. It’s time to move on: “Tough ending, second overtime. It is what it is right now, but we are going to have to move on,” said defenseman John Klingberg. “We get prepared for the next season, it feels like it’s a long way there, but we’re doing something good here....
May 9, 2019
Thursday Links: Taking Stock After Game 7

Thursday Links: Taking Stock After Game 7

Or, what to do when you’re not doing hockey. Plus, Jumbo Joe is in the Western Conference Finals, the rule that cost the Avs, and more. The Dallas Stars have the next few months to reflect on what went wrong in Game 7. In the meantime, Sean Shapiro has pulled together some of what went right – and what the team can build on for the future. Unsurprisingly, Shapiro opens his last 20/20 of the season with a lengthy encomium for Ben Bishop’s heroism under fire: It took a remarkable effort to beat Bishop in Game 7. If he saw the puck cleanly, it was stopped and controlled. Rebounds were...
May 8, 2019
When Goaltending Isn’t Enough

When Goaltending Isn’t Enough

After an over-reliance on their goaltenders all season, the Stars’ offensive problems finally caught up to them. The Dallas Stars let Ben Bishop down last night. I know it. You know it. The St. Louis Blues know it. And, most importantly, the Stars know it. The Stars’ undisputed MVP stopped 52 of 54 shots after 85:50 minutes of play. Jordan Binnington, meanwhile, faced only 30 shots. The Stars were outshot by the Blues 18-1 in the second period, and 13-3 in the third. Sure, it got better in overtime, but with numbers like that, it’s not hard to figure out why the Stars lost. One...