Monday, June 6, 2022

Hockey in...June...?

Well, yes!

We're down to the Conference Finals...

Colorado Avalanche vs. Edmonton Oilers in the West and Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Rangers in the East.

I placed several $5 bets on various teams early in the year.

Only one team is left playing. That would be the Avs, and they are a juggernaut right now.

But Tampa Bay is going for a three-peat, meaning they're back-to-back Stanley Cup champions and going for their third Cup win. They too are a powerhouse team. (Usually.)

As of this morning, the Avalanche and the Rangers lead their respective series ...

In hockey, however, anything can happen. So by the end of the week, we could be looking at an Oilers / Lightning Cup Final. Both Edmonton and Tampa Bay would have to win all their remaining games. Could it happen? Yes. Is it likely? No

But the Conference Finals and the Cup Final is not what I wanted to muse on today.

Let's circle back to my boys in Victory green.

It's the dawn of yet another new era in Dallas Stars Hockey.

Rick Bowness, head coach for the last couple of seasons, and the team parted ways. Bones inherited the coaching job initially when the previous coach was fired. And as a result of the run to the Stanley Cup Final a couple of years ago, he was offered a new contract.

A lot of people in the fan base are of the opinion that he's not the best coach for our team and while I'm not a strategist nor do I really understand a lot of aspects of the game, I've come to agree. Their explanations make sense.

Bones is an old school coach, but the game has evolved, is evolving, as are the players coming up. While Bones is by all accounts a great "players" coach--everyone in the League loves Bones as a person--his coaching style seems to be stuck in the 80s and 90s. And some of our really good players aren't playing as well as they could as a result. Their skills and talents aren't being utilized, they're not being put in positions to truly shine and succeed. And that's a shame.

Hopefully, the new coach will be able to balance the strengths of each and every player for a truly contending team.

Several of our older players--"veterans," as the over age-thirty players tend to get labeled--are coming off the books, meaning their contracts have expired and are not being renewed. Sadly, we're stuck with one guy who most everyone (fan-wise) hates.

On the other hand, they offered one of our very best players at age 37 a one-year extension. And thank the Good Lord for that. Joe Pavelski, along with his two younger line-mates was responsible for over 40% of our goal scoring last season. While on the one hand it's impressive--we made the play-offs on the backs of those three men--we should be getting scoring from all four lines as well as from the defensemen.

From L to R (in Victory Green, of course): Joe Pavelski, Roope Hintz, and Jason Robertson aka Pavelski & Sons.

We made it to a game seven of the first round on the back of our young goalie. He was the best goalie in the league during his single round of playoffs and was just shunted into second best position two games into the third round...

Many in the fan base are hoping that the new coach will balance all the talent we have--help the veterans be as productive as possible and allow the young guns opportunity and a chance to shine, all while bringing back a little more offense from up and down the roster.

Looking forward to see what the 2022-2023 season has in store for a boys in Victory Green.

In the meantime--LET'S GO AVS!!

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