How Stars turned ‘worst game of year’ into emotional first win


  • Teams that do it well have an advantage, so it definitely is a skill. But how do you find a way to repeat the good emotion and eliminate the bad emotion?
  • How do you get a team on the same page and keep them there?
  • After an off-day in Washington, D.C. Monday, the Stars had a team dinner.
  • It was “emotional,” Montgomery said, and you could read between the lines that the team definitely dug into why they have started the year slowly when everyone has such high expectations for them.
  • Then, after that motivational night and a very upbeat morning skate where the coaches were working one-on-one with players and the everyone seemed to be in a good place, the team stunk in the first period.
  • Not just stunk, but was embarrassing — frustratingly bad at a time when they were supposed to be coming together and showing their potential.
  • It was awful.

“We were putting a lot of pressure on ourselves to get out of this,” said Tyler Seguin, one of the team’s alternate captains. “It’s been tense times.”

  • The Stars have that line in Jamie Benn, Seguin and Alexander Radulov, but they haven’t gone to them much this season.
  • On Tuesday, Montgomery tossed out his top line and stuck with it, and by the end of the game, that proved to be a great decision.
  • Benn, Seguin and Radulov had combined for one point in the first three games, and didn’t look good doing it, so putting them together and putting expectations on them was a gamble.
  • It turned out to be a good one.
  • After a little bit better second period, the Stars were trailing 2-1 going into the second intermission, and Montgomery told Benn that this was on the players.

“At the bench, I turned to Jamie Benn and told him: ‘The coaches aren’t going in, this is your locker room. If we’re going to do something, you’ve got to will these guys out of this.’ “

  • There were emotional talks, and the Stars came out and dominated the third period.
  • Dallas had an 11-0 advantage in shots on goal to start the period and tied things up on a Radulov rebound at 7:53.
  • Then, rookie Nick Caamano drove the net and made a beautiful play off a pass from Andrew Cogliano to give the Stars the lead at the 12:03 mark.
  • It was the best of both worlds.
  • Not only had the top players made a difference, but also a rookie in his third NHL game.
  • There was a feeling that maybe all of this talk of off-season improvement might actually be right.
Sources & Credits: NHL, Mike Heika

NHL Highlights | Stars vs. Capitals – Oct. 8, 2019




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