When it rains, it pours. The Monsoon hit the Dallas Stars on Thursday night. The 7-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild looked like the Stars had a routine bad night but it was much worse. Fans are now calling for the firing of Stars Head Coach Rick Bowness. His decisions during and before the game came under fire. The calling for his firing were not from a loss but his decision about rookie Riley Tufte playing. The healthy scratch to Tufte caused an uproar amongst fans. It was a wild night in Minnesota.

Not Homecoming

Riley Tufte is a born-and-raised Minnesotan. The game on Thursday was against the team he grew up watching. He participated in morning skate with the expectation that he was playing in the game. Tufte was on the roster and looked like he was for sure playing that night. He bought several tickets for his friends and family, using all of his call-up money. Shoutout to Wild player Nick Bjugstad for help buying even more tickets for his family. He seemed ecstatic to play in this game. Bowness made him a healthy scratch shortly before the game so he did not play.

Questions arose about the decision to bench him. Tufte would have provided an extra chip in his step playing against the team he grew up cheering for. His son was even in attendance so imagine the disappointment his family faced. Fans always call for a head coach’s firing if a team is performing badly. The Stars have a losing record albeit not by much at 6-7-2. Their record is a small part of the social media storm aimed at Bowness. Bowness’ decision about Tufte enraged fans.

Hockey is a business so there was a reason in Bowness’ mind that Tufte missed the game. Whatever reason it was, Bowness handled the situation poorly. It was the wrong one because the Wild railroaded the Stars. Backup goaltender Jake Oettinger was also making his homecoming in Minnesota. He didn’t see any action until the Wild already put up 7 goals. 5 goals should have been the hook for Anton Khudobin. Stars fans have every right to be angry about this game and how Bowness handled the situation.

Moving Forward

It’s clear what the fans want after a brief search through Twitter. The Stars have a home game Saturday night against the St. Louis Blues. Fans may boo whenever Bowness’ name comes up during the pre-game introductions. Their reaction to his name will express what the fan base is feeling. Perhaps a coaching change is in order if the Stars keep tumbling down the standings.

This whole situation is a bad one. Drama happens in every NHL season. People within teams make bad decisions all the time. It’s up to the front office of the organization to decide what to do next.

Photo Credit: Dallas Stars Twitter





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