FourFourSeconds: What to expect from the Dallas Stars preseason opener
Posted On June 17, 2021
A lot of attention is focused on the Dallas team’s preseason opener against the Minnesota Wild.
And, of course, it’s a game that should be a huge boost for the Stars.
The Stars are coming off of a 6-3 win against the Edmonton Oilers and a 5-1 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks, and they have a shot at making the playoffs for the first time in nine seasons.
Here are five things to watch for in Dallas’ preseason opener.1.
The LineupIt’s almost a cliché to say the Stars are set to have their first-ever line of Ryan Garbutt, Shawn Horcoff and Jyrki Jokipakka.
But if that’s the case, that means there will be a lot of different line combinations.
That’s because the Stars already have three defensemen with at least 100 minutes of NHL experience.
Garbutt will have a lot to prove in the preseason.
The 20-year-old is still developing, and there are questions about his ability to handle the NHL grind.
But Jokippakka has been a key part of the Stars’ power play unit this season, and he’s going to be a tough competitor for any of the players.2.
Defenseman Jyri Jokimper is ready to playDefenseman Jymri Jokimek, who played eight NHL games last season, is expected to play against the Wild.
That means he’ll have a big role on the Stars, and it will be interesting to see how Jokimatek and Horcof play against Jokispakka and Jokisto.
Jokieme will have to make the most of his chance to play with his NHL-leading 28 points, while Jokjipakk and Jokujipare playing with their NHL-best 24 points.
Jokuji is an extremely gifted puck-moving defenseman and should be able to get on the board in a lot more situations than Jokimi.
Jjuji’s skill set is a little different than Jokui’s, but he’s a good skater and an excellent passer.3.
It’ll be interesting if Jodie Meeks gets a lookIn the preseason, the Stars got to see what it would look like to have the veteran defenseman on the blue line.
Meeks is still adjusting to the NHL speed game, and with the speed of the NHL coming, Meeks will have his work cut out for him.
However, if Meeks plays in the top six, that would open up his game for players like Brett Ritchie, who has had an impressive rookie season.
Mekes also has a big chip on his shoulder and is an all-around guy who should be effective on the power play.4.
Defensemen Patrick Sharp and Jason Demers have had some ups and downsIt’s no secret that Sharp and Demers are both battling injuries, but the Stars have already had a number of players who have struggled with injuries.
Sharp’s status for the start of the preseason will be uncertain, and Demer is dealing with a hip injury, which could prevent him from getting to practice for the preseason opener, but it’s still a good sign that the Stars will have some solid defensemen who can contribute in the game.
Demers was a standout on the team last season and should continue to do so.5.
The Wild will be an interesting opponentThe Stars will be looking to avoid dropping their first game since 2010, when they lost to the Chicago Bulls, and the Wild have not played well at home in the past four seasons.
The Dallas Stars have a history of winning their opening games, and that will be especially true in a preseason game against the franchise that drafted them in 2009.6.
It’s time to find a new homeThe Stars’ preseason schedule starts with a trip to face the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 29.
They then move on to play the Detroit Red Wings, Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers, Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning.
The final two games will be against the Arizona Coyotes on Nov. 4 and Minnesota Wild on Nov 20.