With several new players, new coaches throughout the organization, and a new way to play hockey, the Stars prospects got off to a rocky start in a 9-6 loss to the St. Louis Blues prospects at the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich.
|Stars Assistant GM Frank Provenzano's |
Traverse City Blog: Game One
The game was revved up, and gave a glimpse of what the Stars are hoping to accomplish under new GM Joe Nieuwendyk, new NHL head coach Marc Crawford and new AHL coach Glen Gulutzan. Gulutzan was behind the bench Sunday, and said he understands better what the task ahead requires.
"It was a bit of a scrambly game," Gulutzan said. "These guys have all just been here a day. It’s a process to get better and iron things out. That’s what this tournament is for."
The Stars last season won the tournament, going undefeated in four games, and they brought back some of the core players from that team. However, even the veteran prospects said there are some adjustments required to adapt to a new style of play.
"I think they want more of a high-paced game, that’s what we’ve talked about, but it’s a process of learning that," defenseman Trevor Ludwig said. "It will work, but it’s just a matter of getting some time and getting used to it."
And the Stars were not without their highlights. They outshot the Blues, 39-37, and were tied 4-4 after two periods. They were only down 7-6 with 6:03 remaining in the game, but St. Louis scored off a nice shot by Tyler Shattock and then added an empty-net goal with 22 seconds remaining.
Stars goalie Richard Bachman
allowed eight goals on 37 shots, but both Ludwig and Gulutzan said goaltending wasn’t the problem. Bachman, who is starting his professional career after playing at Colorado College, made several spectacular saves.
"The goals he allowed were good goals," Ludwig said. "That was a good team that made some really nice plays."
While Gulutzan added: "I thought he played well, especially early on. He gave us a chance to stay in that game. He might not have faced as many shots as the other goalie, but he faced more quality shots."
The Stars received strong play from some of their lesser known prospects. Tomas Vincour
had two goals and was plus-2. Mathieu Tousignant
also had two goals. However, the top line that included Scott Glennie
(minus-3) and Jamie Benn
(minus-2) struggled. Benn left the ice after cramping up in a collision in the third period. He skated one shift and then sat out the rest of the game. However, he worked out after the game and said he expected to be ready for Monday’s game against Minnesota.
Gulutzan said the entire team would be ready.
"We do want to play a little uptempo game, and to do that you have to be in good condition and work all areas, so we’re not going to hold anything back," he said. "There’s a lot of positives, so we’re going to take those…and the negatives, we’re going to work on those and get better."