Previews

Game #25 – Stars vs. Hawks: Q&A With Taylor Baird

Taylor Baird is the editor of DefendingBigD. com. You can follow her on Twitter @TaylorDBaird.

The Stars have had something of the same wonky start that the Hawks have. Why hasn’t Hitchcock’s charms worked miracles yet (we’re not exactly Hitch fans, if you can’t tell)? 
It’s not just a coach and his system that was overhauled this offseason. The Stars have several new faces this year, and some old faces that have struggled mightily so far (::side-eyes Jason Spezza::) It’s a lot to juggle while learning what this system needs every night. Their start reflects that.
On the plus side, John Klingberg is nearly a point-per-game, and his metrics have bounced back to where they were two seasons ago. He definitely had a dip last year, what’s been different this campaign?
It’s maybe more a continuance of the end of his previous season. After Klingberg got over his struggles, and found a consistent partner that complemented him in Esa Lindell, he played well down the stretch. He brought that confidence into this season.
The Stars have a secondary scoring problem. Radulov, Seguin, Benn, and Klingberg all have over 20 points, but no one else has over 11. Who needs to pick it up? 
Jason Spezza is the key to secondary scoring, and he has been very snake bitten to start the season. Radek Faksa, who had himself a good night against Vegas with a hat trick, would be another pick as someone that needs to step up (and when he does, natural hat tricks occur. Who knew?) 
We like to ask about our lost boy Stephen Johns. It felt like Lindy Ruff completely underrated him even while giving him human shield starts and competition. What does he look like under Hitch? 
He has been up and down this season, but that’s not exactly surprising given the way the Stars have played so far as a whole. It feels like he’s really stepped up after Marc Methot went down with injury. He is one player that I believe will benefit from Hitchcock’s system, and it’s possible that we are starting to see it consistently now.
 
Ben Bishop has disappointed since coming over in the summer. What’s been his problem? Is the Dallas crease just cursed?
Whoever stuck a pin in the Dallas goaltender voodoo doll, we’d like to have a word with you. Bishop looks better to the eyeball than his stats may show. It’s because he makes the key saves in the key moment, something that doesn’t show on a box score. He’s been the reason the Stars haven’t been slaughtered in some games, and he’s the reason the Stars are often still in others. He’s rarely been the reason for a loss. The guys in front of him have struggled and therefore he has at times too. But overall, I personally feel more confident with Bishop in net – a feeling that’s been missing in Dallas for a few seasons now.

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