Tulsa continues to prove to be unfriendly to the Stars. Many fans were hyped as the big names for the team were set to make a preseason debut. Unfortunately, Dallas did not live up to the billing of the event.
Dallas was shut out in the Tulsa Classic for the second straight year, this time falling 6-0. While it is just the preseason, it is fair to be concerned to be shutout while surrendering 6 goals. Dallas has three preseason games remaining before the games begin to really matter. How Monty goes about addressing the issues from Tulsa will be crucial to help the Stars start the season strong.
Knock The Rust Off
All the big names participated in the game, Benn, Seguin, and Radulov, but the big 3 looked like it was their first preseason game. To begin the game, Monty actually had Radulov separated, electing to put him on a line with Roope and Gurianov. Montgomery did unite the trio to begin the third period, but it did not make a difference. The team seemingly could not make a tape to tape pass throughout the game.
Given this is the first game action for the team, it is natural for there to be some rust. It still is no excuse to get run out of the building like the team did, however. Dallas still has time to get their collective act together and be prepared for the regular season. The team needs to bring the energy come Thursday night as the regular season approaches and the roster gets trimmed down further. It is a fair expectation that the energy, effort, and execution against the Wild be better for Dallas.
Continuing with themes from last season, the chemistry in Tulsa was not there for Dallas. This was the first game where Pavelski was playing with his expected top 6 linemates and the chemistry was notably missing. The chemistry was a big issue last season and it hindered the team until late into the season. The acclimation period for the veteran forward may be longer than fans hoped and expected. Playing a game in an arena that Pavelski had never been in also was a factor to consider. So many new elements it can be difficult to adjust on the fly, the veteran forward should feel more comfortable come October 3rd.
Thomas Harley is a Cool Customer
Florida was aggressive with their forecheck and put pressure on the Dallas defensemen to make plays. Despite having some hiccups within the game, Harley did not appear rattled. Most notably in the first period, Harley had the puck bobble off his stick while under pressure but was still able to make a pass to his partner, Miro.
Monty earlier stated Harley looks like Miro. The comparison so far appears to be a good one as Thomas has the composure and hockey sense to make the right play. It is not a given Harley makes the roster with such a crowded locker room with defensemen. However, his new contract certainly shows the team has belief in his abilities.
It was a disappointing night for Stars fans and the team in Tulsa. But, exposing the flaws and areas of improvement while the games don’t count is invaluable. The chemistry in the top 6 and knocking the rust off from the off-season will be important before the season opener.
Dallas begins the season with 7 games against teams who made the playoffs last season, including the Stanley Cup champs. Dallas will need to be ready to go for a strong start to the season will be important given the difficulty of the division.
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