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Stars season preview: Oettinger workload, play past regulation among keys
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Author Topic: Stars season preview: Oettinger workload, play past regulation among keys  (Read 973 times)
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« on: 13 December 2023, 05:52:16 »

The 2023 24 NHL season starts Oct.  10.  With training camps underway, NHL. com is taking a look at the three keys, the inside scoop on roster questions, and the projected lineup for each of the 32 teams.  Today, the Dallas Stars. Coach: Peter DeBoer  second season Last season: 47 21 14; second place in Central Division, lost to Vegas Golden Knights in Western Conference Final3 KEYS1.  Offense keeps producingThe Stars averaged 3. 43 goals per game last season, seventh in the NHL.  That was a significant jump from 2021 22, when they were 21st at 2. 84 goals per game under former coach Rick Bowness  Jason Robertson tied for sixth in the NHL with 109 points  46 goals, 63 assists  in 82 games.  Jamie Benn had 78 points  33 goals, 45 assists  in 82 games, his best total since he had 79 points in 2017 18.  Joe Pavelski had 77 points  28 goals, 49 assists  in 82 games, four shy of the NHL career high 81 he had in 2021 22.  The Stars enter this season healthy, and if their top players can repeat or come close to last season's offensive output, they will be in good shape. 2.  Win overtime gamesThis was a glaring problem during the playoffs when the Stars lost four of five overtime games, including the first two against the Golden Knights in the conference final.  It also was an issue during the regular season as well  Dallas had 14 overtime shootout losses last season, the most of any team that made the Stanley Cup Playoffs  the New York Rangers were next with 13.  The Stars can't leave those points on the table in the regular season and can't let those games get away from them if they make the postseason again. 3.  Lighten Oettinger's workloadJake Oettinger went 37 11 11 with a 2. 37 goals against average,. 919 save percentage and five shutouts in 62 games  61 starts  last season.  That was after he played in 48 games  46 starts  in 2021 22.  Part of that was because backup Scott Wedgewood was out for 15 games between Feb.  22 and March 28 because of an undisclosed injury.  When Oettinger started faltering late in the playoffs, was it other teams finding his weak spots or was it him wearing down after a busy regular season? Could be a bit of both, but the Stars would be wise to get more playing time for Wedgewood or Matt Murray, who is expected to start the season with Texas of the American Hockey League, and cut Oettinger's load this season. ROSTER RUNDOWNMaking the cutThe Stars have a lot of veterans throughout the lineup, so it's not going to be easy for young players to break in this season.  They're also entering this season healthy that includes defenseman Jani Hakanpää, who general manager Jim Nill said was able to avoid surgery for a knee injury he had during the playoffs.  So it comes down to the old clich for the up and comers: if they impress during training camp, they'll stay.  If not, another season of development outside the NHL won't hurt. Most intriguing additionMatt Duchene said it himself not long after signing a one year contract with the Stars on July 1: he has something to prove.  He wants to get back to the production he had in 2021 22, when he had 86 points  43 goals, 43 assists  in 78 games with the Nashville Predators, who bought out the remaining three years of his seven year contract June 30.  Duchene could start at right wing or center on the third line.  The 32 year old is a great addition to their depth and allows Dallas to go with Roope Hintz at center on the top line, Wyatt Johnston in the middle on the second line and Duchene or Tyler Seguin at center on the third line. Biggest potential surpriseMavrik Bourque broke into the pro game last season with 47 points  20 goals, 27 assists  in 70 AHL games with Texas Seattle Kraken Authentic & Breakaway Jerseys.  As mentioned above, it may be tough for the 21 year old to crack the Stars lineup, but it's ultimately up to his training camp play to determine where he starts the season. Ready to contributeThomas Harley had two assists in six regular season games but the 22 year old defenseman got a bigger opportunity in the playoffs, when he had nine points  one goal, eight assists  in 19 games.  Nill said players had to play games to get better.  Harley did, on a big stage, and now he should get a chance to stick in the lineup all season. Fantasy sleeperWyatt Johnston, C  fantasy average draft position: 164. 5  Johnston is a breakout candidate in a secondary role for the Stars after his 24 goals tied Seattle Kraken forward Matty Beniers for first among NHL rookies last season.  Johnston should benefit from the offseason addition of forward Matt Duchene, who had 43 goals and 43 assists two seasons ago with the Nashville Predators.  Pete JensenPROJECTED LINEUPJason Robertson Roope Hintz Joe PavelskiJamie Benn Wyatt Johnston Evgenii DadonovMason Marchment Matt Duchene Tyler SeguinTy Dellandrea Radek Faksa Craig SmithRyan Suter Miro HeiskanenEsa Lindell Nils LundkvistThomas Harley Jani HakanpaaJake OettingerScott Wedgewood Related Content Heiskanen hopes scoring, defense for Stars will lead to Norris TrophySep 03, 2023

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