Dallas Stars head coach Jim Montgomery was hoping for a more impressive performance Saturday against the St. Louis Blues. He spoke to the players about the importance of coming out strong against St. Louis in the second game with them in five games. Instead, the team didn’t come out at all and suffered a disappointing 3-1 loss, frustrating the head coach to no end as the team, according to NHL.com’s Mike Heika.
“It’s frustrating,” Montgomery said. “I’m very frustrated that I haven’t been able to gain consistency in our performance and I haven’t been able to change the culture of mediocrity.”
The team was already coming off a disappointing loss to the struggling Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday as the team looked uninterested throughout much of the game. The team hired Montgomery to turn the franchise around and develop a talented team into a constant playoff threat, but the team has been quite inconsistent despite being third in the Central Division with a 23-19-4 record for 50 points. Unfortunately, six teams are within five points of them in the Western Conference, so there is no guarantee that Dallas will even make the playoffs.
“There have been some times, after a horrible period, where it’s their room,” Montgomery said of finding ways to motivate the team. “’You guys need to bring it forth.’ Unfortunately, there have been too many times where we have to think about how to motivate these guys. That’s a problem in and of itself that we have had to do that so many times this year already.”
- The Chicago Blackhawks, who continually are making adjustments on their defense, made a minor tweak to their defense Saturday night when the team moved right-handed defenseman Henri Jokiharju to the left side of the blueline, according to Jimmy Greenfield of the Chicago Tribune. The team hopes Jokiharju will make the conversion now because 2018 first-rounder Adam Boqvist is also a right-shot defenseman and would likely be more comfortable on the right. “I think he was pretty good (on the left),” head coach Jeremy Colliton said. “He looked comfortable to me, made some plays, defended pretty well. So that’s a positive.”
- Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun reports that Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice said that if defenseman Tyler Myers continues his progress, the veteran defenseman could be an option to return to the lineup Tuesday against Vegas. Myers missed Friday’s game against Detroit with a lower-body injury and is not expected to play tonight against Anaheim. The 6-foot-6 Myers is an instrumental figure in the team’s defense, especially while the team is without Dustin Byfuglien.
- Mike Russo of The Athletic (subscription required) writes that if anyone is going to need a break when the all-star game hits, it will be the Minnesota Wild’s Eric Staal, who has really looked slow lately and is in one giant rut. The 34-year-old forward, who could end up being a potential trade candidate as the trade deadline nears, struggled throughout the game Saturday against Detroit and continues to commit multiple turnovers. He has just one goal in his past 13 games and has just 13 goals at the midway point in the season.