Dallas Stars Insider Talks Goalies
Dallas Stars insider Mike Heika recently held a Q&A session online where he answered questions submitted by readers. Heika, who covers the Stars for the Dallas Morning News, offered some insight into the goalie situation down in Dallas, and his answers were quite interesting.
As you are probably aware, the Stars are using a two goalie system involving both Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen. One reader questioned whether the two goalie system used by the Stars will improve in their second year of using it. Heika seemed hopeful that they would.
Yes, in theory it should be. I think Niemi struggled more than Lehtonen with the pace and the mental gymnastics of sharing, so I think he could be much better this season.
That said, there is a lot of history that each is statistically an average goalie, so that might be the case. You might just have two OK NHL goalies, each of whom will have hot streaks and cold streaks.
Another fan wondered who might be traded to another team if General Manager Jim Nill decides to move a goalie at some point.
It depends completely on what the other team wants. In a head-to-head battle, they picked Lehtonen most of the time last year, so it seems the Stars like him better. That said, if they can unload his contract and give him a fresh start, that might be the best move.
A lot depends on what other teams believe about the two Finns.
Heika would later indicate that the Stars organization is happy with their current goaltending coach, and would likely move one of their goalies before switching goalie coaches. “They would attempt to move a goalie first. Jeff Reese was in his first season last year, and the Stars liked what he did. They might also be learning it’s not an easy job to be a goalie coach in Dallas,” Heika said.
While the Dallas Stars were an offensive powerhouse last season, leading the NHL in goals for, some could argue that the reason for their lack of success is between the pipes. When it comes to goals against, the team ranked in the bottom half of the NHL at 19th. Perhaps a dual goalie situation is not creating the healthy competition it should be, and instead creating a scenario where neither goalie can be completely comfortable.
To read the full Q&A session, click here.