Dallas Stars: State of The Team in Year 25

25 years ago, the NHL exposed every Texan to the world of hockey. 22 years ago, the Dallas Stars gave hockey fans in Dallas its first taste of winning. The year was 1996, that was the year that the Dallas Stars began to transform. 1995-96 was the season Ken Hitchcock started his coaching career in Dallas. And, Hitchcock left quite an impression early on in his first tenure. For one, Hitchcock was able to make NHL Hall Of Famer Mike Modano into a “well-rounded” superstar.

Not only was Modano able to score at will, he played in most special teams situations under Hitchcock’s coaching as well. But, he had to listen to the wise words of Mr. Hitchcock over the years.

Coach Ken Hitchcock has had the privilege of coaching a handful of teams. And, conversely, a handful of teams have had the honor and privilege of learning from him. However, here we sit. The 2017-18 hockey season has reached its unofficial midway point. The Stars are in a Wildcard spot for this year’s playoffs, and the franchise has come full circle. Yet again, Coach Hitchcock has a center that is said to need Hitchcock’s coaching magic. 40+ games in, said center has received just that.

Tyler Seguin, much like the rest of the team, entered this season excited for the season. Players like Ben Bishop, Tyler Pitlick, Martin Hanzal, and Alexander Radulov give the team a bit of a makeover. At this point in the season, the slight makeover seems to have worked. The offense of the Stars is alive and kicking, the defensive player instilled by Hitchcock is working, and the team is chugging along.

The True Impact Of Tyler Seguin

Much like fans and media expected, the shining star (pun intended) Tyler Seguin has been just one player at the forefront of team success. Not far behind him, his wingman Jamie Benn, Alexander Radulov, and even John Klingberg have all been integral parts of the team. Tyler Seguin has been an “offensive minded” player from the very start of his career. However, with Hitchcock at the helm, Seguin has flourished much like Mike Modano did before him.

Seguin has seen his ice time increase by two minutes, seen ice time in key situations like power play and penalty kill increase, and has improved both offensively and defensively. The true test for Tyler and the Stars could be looming in the near future.

Sitting in a Wild Card spot at the moment, the Stars also stay six points back of first in the Central Division. Year 25 for the Stars in Dallas has been an interesting one. John Klingberg, a man who fans wanted to trade this season (for turnover issues) has found his game at both ends of the ice. Both Klingberg and Seguin both are able to quarterback the power play situations, and all the young players are finding their way with the “big boys”.

First Impressions Dallas Stars and Ken Hitchcock

The Stars started the season with a whopping 11-10-1 record. In that span, Dallas was outscored 65-61. The Stars have gone 17-8-3 since then, and have outscored the opposition 94-68. For those wondering, that’s a goal differential of 1.08 per game.

Ben Bishop, the goalie brought in with a lot of hype has also flourished under Hitchcock. Bishop has a 2.46 GAA while rocking a 91.7 save percentage. The Stars are six wins away from matching their season total last season. Should the Stars continue at this pace, the point total for this hard-working squad could be close to, maybe more than 100 points.

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JJ Nealy
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