No matter how you write it up, it hasn’t been a pretty preseason for the Dallas Stars, but that’s okay because it is still the preseason.
Relax, it is early. There are 82 games in the regular season. The scores and stats for anything before the puck drops on Opening Night don’t matter. Right now, it is all about repetition, experimenting, testing what-ifs and finalizing final roster spots for the next 7 months of hockey.
Breathe, people, breathe.
You gotta trust the team. This isn’t something new to anyone on the roster or on the coaching staff. The Stars are doing exactly what the preseason is for; Getting reps in while experimenting with different lines and lineups, arrays of offensive and defensive techniques and working on what chemistry and styles click and which ones that don’t. It can be hard to look at game results and let your mind wander or be upset with the outcome, but save that for the games that count. We can have this conversation again during the regular season, but just be mindful of what exactly is going on for teams in the preseason.
These are elevated scrimmages at best. Some teams excel and look great and others look like they are not even interested in being on the ice; That is just normal preseason antics for you. Remember that a large portion of each preseason roster has guys who are just trying to make the team, not be on the first two lines every night. The Dallas Stars are no different. When you have players that were playing in the AHL or in college last year, it takes a while to get your feet wet and results will vary from 6-0 wins to 6-0 losses.
Head Coach Jim Montgomery hasn’t even come close to playing the actual “A” Team lineup yet. The Stars’ star starting goaltender Ben Bishop hasn’t played a full game since that dreaded Game 7 in St. Louis in May. The defense is being told to not block shots to avoid injuries. There are so many things that Stars are not doing on purpose that affect the outcome of the game, but at the same time doing things that they wouldn’t normal do just to test the waters. Dumping pucks to practice transition defense, different pressures and point of attacks for forwards, and so many other things that are missed unless you’re looking for them individually.
Honestly, the preseason is just a glorified hockey version of the NBA’s G-League.
As a diehard fan, it isn’t comforting to see a team that you’re so committed to looking so shell-shocked in their first action since May. Once again, it is early. Hold tight, fans. The real ones are about to begin.