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angryjay93

Dallas Stars

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Dallas Stars



Team Overview: There may be no other team in the league that relies on pure, dumb, blind speed as much as the Dallas Stars. Chances should come in droves for the Stars because of their speed, it is entirely likely though that many of these chances will be wasted by their pathetic shooting ability. If they can figure out a way light the lamp consistently, the Stars have the defense and goaltending to support the forwards which make a contender for a top 5 team in the game.

Forwards: Just like being a power bottom*, speed is the name of the game in ’94 often times, the Stars have that in spades. While Modano and Courtnall have a bit of a learning curve on them, once they are mastered, they are extremely dangerous players that can be tough to contain. Pair that with a defensive minded Broten, and the Stars have a top tier line. The depth is ok, but it shouldn’t come into play too much.

Spray ‘N Pray:

Modano-Courtnall-Broten

Mike Modano: 7 weight, 5/5 skating, 5/2 shot, 5 sth, 4 pass, 4/4 aware, Shoots: L

Modano is a rare blend of pure speed and shooting power which makes him a uniquely effective player. But the accuracy, the lack of accuracy to be precise is the only thing holding back Modano from being truly elite. There may be no forward in the league better at throwing easy chances away than Modano. Most users don’t notice a tangible difference between a 4 or 5 shot accuracy, but the drop down to 2 is painfully obvious. Despite all this, Modano’s other skills compensate and he is able to create a litany of chances with speed and playmaking abilities as well as his blistering shot. He will need these numerous chances, but when Modano does manage to put the puck on net, his shot power allows him to blow the puck by the goalie with great ease.

Russ Courtnall: 6 weight, 5/6 skating, 4/3 shot, 3 sth & pass, 4/2 aware, Shoots: R

Perfect speed is always beneficial, even when the skill set is just a bit above average such as the case is with Courtnall. Obviously, not an ideal one-timing center due to his speed and lack of shot accuracy, Courtnall is still the best option in the middle because he is extremely dangerous in the one-on-one game. Courtnall, is typically a round 1 pick in the GDL draft, and with good reason, his speed is elite, it can drive defenses crazy and he has just enough of a slap shot that needs to be respected in which to keep defenses honest. Defensively, Courtnall can be very effective, though not as effective as a Roenick or Bure, Courtnall is still adept at throwing his body weight around and he is among the top players in leading a counter attack. One thing to keep in mind with Courtnall though is his lack of passing, it is so tempting to just try and blow by everyone on the ice, but if he gets in trouble, his lack of passing can be cause of concern as he gives away the puck time and time again. The art of patience and elusiveness is just as important to Courtnall’s game as his raw speed is.

Neal Broten: 4 weight, 4/4 skating, 3/2 shot, 3 sth, 4 pass, 3/5 aware, Shoots: L

Arguably the top defensive forward in the game, Broten is not only a huge hitter, but he is a capable puck handler and playmaker which makes him a unique threat on both sides of the ice. Most users hold Broten in high regard despite the weak shot ratings because he is an equal to Roenick when it comes to checking. Dallas isn’t the greatest defensive team, but the addition of Broten allows the Stars to be able to handle players such as Selanne, Mogilny, and Bondra much more effectively by putting a massive checking presence on the ice, it can really change the way an opponent attacks the Stars. If Broten can create turnovers, he is also a competent passer and he can easily spring Modano and Courtnall on breakaways and allow them to work their magic. If the game turns into a puck possession type game in the offensive zone, Broten brings an element of calmness to the line as his skating and ease of handling allows him to be very precise with his movements and passing to set up some easy one timers.

This line has so much potential if used correctly, it rivals Vancouver and Detroit in effectiveness on offense and defense. But if the speed game gets harnessed, Dallas can struggle with creating chances that are easy enough for their inaccurate shooters to take advantage of. The 3 forwards collectively average a 4 shot power, but only 2.3 accuracy, it’s one of the most lopsided ratios in the game.

The Crash Line:

Gagner-Courtnall-Modano

Dave Gagner: 6 weight, 4/4 skating, 3/4 shot, 4 sth & pass, 4/4 aware, Shoots: L

It’s not so much that there is any thing wrong with Gagner, it’s more of a case that there just isn’t so much of anything right with him. A standard, heady type winger, Gagner should provide some very solid, more offensively minded play than Broten will. This could be rather useful as Gagner does immediately become the most consistent shooter on the ice for the Stars. He is also a noted garbage goal specialist as he is prone to crash the net on rebounds and other such scrums to pick up some ugly goals. The drop off in defense from Broten to Gagner though is noticeable, but that doesn’t mean Gagner is a liability, he just doesn’t provide much of anything different from Courtnall or Modano in the body checking game.

This combo opens up some new attacking options, Modano is now on his off wing and he is more able to use his big slapper. While it may not hit the net often enough, it should either provide a goal or a massive rebound if it does. Courtnall should be used in the same fashion still and he will cause a ton of havoc in the slot. Gagner brings a gritty element on offense, which should come in handy; it’s just going to take a more refined defensive strategy to keep the Stars as effective as they would be if they were icing Broten instead.

Run ‘BMC:

Broten-Modano-Courtnall

Some people do find Modano easier to handle in the center and Courtnall on the wing. There is nothing wrong with this set up, it’s still very effective and Modano’s one-timers in the slot can be very Brett Hull like. With Broten on the left now, it keeps the teams most effective penalty killer in the lineup without the need of substitution. Don’t be afraid to experiment with line combos when using the Stars, feeling comfortable when using their speed is the most crucial element to their success.

Other Options:

Ulf Dahlen: 8 weight, 3/4 skating, 3/4 shot, 4 sth, 3 pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: L

After Gagner, the depth really takes a sharp dip into mediocrity. Dahlen is a bit on the heavy side to be truly effective in a classic or GDL league, but he does have his moments because he has the speed and shooting ability to chip in offensively. If injuries spring up or penalties become an issue, Dahlen is a rare 4 speed on a team that is rather bereft speed wise after its top tier talent.

Mike Craig: 6 weight, 3/3 skating, 3/3 shot, 4 sth, 2 pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: R

Craig is a player without a true position, he lacks the passing and speed to be an effective wing, but lacks the sniping ability to be a center. He is a lighter option though who could man a 5th/6th forward spot effectively enough to warrant ice time in emergency situations.

Brent Gilchrist: 6 weight, 4/3 skating, 3/2 shot, 4 sth, 3 pass, 2/2 aware, Shoots: L

Gilchrist is a bit better fit as a winger as he has average puck moving skills and is a slightly better skater than Craig. The lack of awareness though is a little bothersome as he has a tendency to wander around.

Fowards: 8.5/10 (Carried by the top tier depth)

Defense: Dallas epitomizes league average defense as they have a couple of light weight, non-descript options that can get the job done more often than not.

Johnson-Sjodin

Jim Johnson: 7 weight, 2/3 skating, 2/1 shot, 3 sth, 4 pass, 2/4 aware, Shoots: L

Although his skating feels a little clunky at times, Johnson is still a rather effective defenseman who brings an offensive element to his game by being able to distribute the puck with aplomb all over the ice. Johnson may not be a true light weight, but he has it where it counts in that he can handle a goal scoring slug in the middle with either a poke check or body check, versatility that shouldn’t go unappreciated. Although he is fairly good at staying in his own zone, he does have issues handling fast and light forwards because he doesn’t have the skating or checking ability to keep them under wraps.

Tommy Sjodin: 6 weight, 4/3 skating, 4/1 shot, 3 sth & pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: R

Steady as they come skill wise, Sjodin won’t be turning heads ideally. In fact, the less he is noticed, the better he is playing. Offensively, it can be a bit tempting to try incorporate his powerful shot, especially if the forwards are struggling, but his shot is more inaccurate than his weak accuracy rating would imply. Against a fleet footed or a light team, it’s best to keep Sjodin defensive minded as he is the better of the two defenders at slowing down and containing a transition rush which allows the Stars forwards to help on the back check.

Not a particularly mobile or heavy hitting unit, they are still light enough to not be easily taken advantage with or without the puck. They do show flashes of offensive ability, but there is plenty of fire power up front to where their services shouldn’t be called upon unless the situation calls for it.

Sjodin-Tinordi

Mark Tinordi: 9 weight, 3/3 skating, 4/2 shot, 3 sth, 2 pass, 3/4 aware, Shoots: L

When it comes to heavy defenseman that could be considered to start, Tinordi is among the bottom tier. It’s tough to figure what the bigger weakness is, the average skating, rotund weight, or abysmal passing. Typically if a heavy defender is iced, he needs either plus skating or passing, preferably both, Tinordi has neither. Tinordi’s strength lies in his shooting where for a defenseman, he has a very solid shot, but that lack of speed and inability to take a check is going to make his shooting ability a moot point in most games. Some users do use him, but it’s really tough for me to recommend as he brings nothing useful to the table.

Sjodin might be in over his head trying to carry Tinordi here. It’s probably best to look elsewhere if Johnson is laboring around the ice too much, unfortunately though, there aren’t many other useful options which is why Tinordi gets consideration.

Richard Matvichuk: 7 weight, 2/3 skating, 3/0 shot, 3 sth, 2 pass, 1/3 aware, Shoots: L

If either Johnson or Sjodin gets hurt, this is probably the best place to turn as Matvichuk is a lesser version of Johnson. Matvichuk does hang back in his own zone typically and he is light enough to take out some heavier players and hopefully he can find a quick outlet to a far more talented player. He has received limited duty in the GDL and typically has garnered positive reviews.

Craig Ludwig: 12 weight, 2/2 skating, 2/0 shot, 2 sth & pass, 1/3 aware, Shoots: L

Obviously Ludwig isn’t an option as he is below average in every area, but he is a default sub when one of the two starting defenseman is in the box or hurt. If in a close or competitive game, bench Ludwig, he can’t hurt you there.

Defense: 5.5/10

Goalie Zone: On the surface it looks like the Stars have nothing more than an average goaltending situation, in reality though, they have so much more than that.

Jon Casey: 2 weight, 4/3 skating, 4/4 aware, 3 puck control, 2/2/3/4 save, Catches: L

The save ratings look rather pathetic for a starting goalie, but he plays above and beyond those abilities in many instances. Where Casey’s strengths lie are in his weight and skating, he is a manual goalies dream because he can play mind games with the shooter as he is able to stop and go in his crease with great ease. In auto mode Casey has games where he can stand on his head and make some amazing saves that wouldn’t be expected. It isn’t entirely unreasonable to draft him a little earlier than some other goalies with similar overall ratings.

Goalie: 7/10

Bottom Line: Dallas likely has the steepest learning curve among skilled teams in the game and can often times be pushed aside because of this. But in the hands of a skilled and patient user, they can be utterly devastating to play against.

*It’s always sunny in Philadelphia reference.

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Time to add my usual opinion!

As I played more with the Stars, I noticed that Courtnall and Modano have a strong chemistry when they're on the ice on the same line. Despite Russ' lack of passing acumen, he can always seem to connect with Modano when it counts. You need speed, these guys can give it to you. About Broten, I don't seem to bring down as many people with him for some reason despite being benefitted with the weight bug, but he does have a decent shot and good passing skills and can win some key faceoffs. Gagner is the playmaker here, ready to pass it to either Courtnall or Modano and like AJ said, he can score some of those gargabe goals and isn't affraid to mix it up in front of the net.

Johnson is just decent, but it doesn't seem that he has good conection with Sjodin and looks lost in some situations, so I usually leave both Tinordi and Sjodin together. It works a lot better when you switch them to their off-sides in order to take advantage of their slapshots when winning faceoffs on the opponents' zone.

Casey is okay and not totally terrible, but his puck control is really iffy. You'd have to be on the ball when it comes to covering those rebounds 'cause those guys are gonna keep attacking you till they score.

The Dallas Stars have the offense to score many goals, but you need true skill MAD SKILLZ to truly make them shine in the sky every game.

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I got Dallas for my rookie season in the Spring'11 classic, I was happy because I love SPEED! I always felt Dallas was a stronger team than indicated by the ratings, particularly with no line changes.

I flip-flop with Modano at center (with Courtnall and Broten on wings). One thing to mention is when Modano is at Center, you can throw Courtnall, the only reliable righty, on the LW. As you mentioned, he has enough juice in his shot to slap it in with some consistency. However, as I quickly found out, most of the players in this league are pretty adept at manual goalie, and those slappers get stopped easily. The other reason I like Courtnall on the wing is his speed allows him to get a quick chance at a goal right from the faceoff.

Thanks for the write-up, great as usual.

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Dallas is my absolute fave team to play with. The speed up front is pain awesome. Love Sjodins weight and agility on the blueline tho he isnt too bright. Casey is a manual gc coaches wet dream, with his light weight and speed, post to post coverage is a snap.

I match this team up against any team and coach.

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i am surprised no one mentioned Brent Gilchrist. he is hard to knock down and keeps Dallas a puck possesion team and creates space. other then that good analysis.

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i am surprised no one mentioned Brent Gilchrist. he is hard to knock down and keeps Dallas a puck possesion team and creates space. other then that good analysis.

AJ does mention him:

"Brent Gilchrist: 6 weight, 4/3 skating, 3/2 shot, 4 sth, 3 pass, 2/2 aware, Shoots: L

Gilchrist is a bit better fit as a winger as he has average puck moving skills and is a slightly better skater than Craig. The lack of awareness though is a little bothersome as he has a tendency to wander around. "

However, both Broten (for more defense) or Gagner (for more offense) are better starting options than Gilchrist to pair with Modano/Courtnall.

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CB Notes

Forwards

Mike Modano: To be successful Modano will need to utilize his speed to accumulate a large volume of chances on goal and nothing about the CB check will hinder his ability to do that. Most of the bigger defenders will struggle to keep up with Modano when he attacks and struggle to elude his frenetic forecheck. Guys with great speed and some good weight typically have their way with the CB defenders and Modano is no exception.

Russ Courtnall: If heavy d-men have issues keeping up with Modano then they will only struggle further against Courtnall. Courtnall will have more traffic to dance through when he plays center but he has more than enough fancy footwork to keep defenders guessing. He and Modano remain a super 1-2 punch and they now possess a little CB check power of their own when back checking against the likes of Theo Fleury and Jeremy Roenick.

Neal Broten: While most super light weight forwards with 4/4 speed struggle to retain the glory of the pre CB check days, Broten does a pretty good job of being a vital piece to a fantastic line. Broten still brings his weight bug checking ability to the forefront and it remains useful since no one else on the Dallas roster is in the same weight bug class as Broten. On offense, Broten was always more of a bit player due to Modano and Courtnall taking the majority of the touches to begin with. Broten isn't relied on to carry the puck up ice like Nelson Emerson is in St. Louis. Sure, Broten may struggle a bit more to be an offensive factor but he brings far too much defensively to the table to be bothered by that fact.

Dave Gagner: Again, Dave sits on the outside looking in here as he is a quality 4th forward to have on the bench. If Gagner was an 8+ weight player or had a vastly superior skill set to Broten then we may be able to talk about bringing him off the bench to get some starts. This isn't the case as Gagner is a perfectly capable player who may have some susceptibility to the most mobile of CB checkers but will still be useful when called upon.

Ulf Dahlen: When taking into consideration Dahlen's lack of agility and passing ability it seems he is a better fit as a center then a winger. His CB check game isn't enough of a factor nor is his shooting ability great enough to even warrant considering starting him over Modano or Courtnall in the middle. Dahlen will continue to ride pine and his value in GDL drafts shouldn't be greatly increased as none of his skills are eye popping.

Mike Craig: A pretty average player all around, still doesn't have a true position. Pray your depth isn't tested to this point in a game.

Brent Gilchrist: If he hadn't before, Gilchrist has in my eyes clearly jumped Craig on the depth chart. In his weight class a little extra agility helps offset the lack of straight line speed.

Mike McPhee: 9 weight, 4/3 skating, 3/2 shot, 2 sth & pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: L

Not a whole lot of CB options in Dallas and McPhee is the best of a limited selection. Personally, I don't see where he fits on any sort of line combination but don't forget about him if line changes are being utilized. He skates around fairly well for a 2nd line big man and has just enough juice on his shot to convert a few of the one timer chances his legs may get him into.

Defense

Jim Johnson: Largely the same player due to his 7 weight. Can knock around a few big forwards and will continue to have some issues keeping up with the faster ones. Perfectly good stay at home defender who can spring a breakaway with his strong passing.

Tommy Sjodin: Again, largely the same player here as Sjodin may have issues CB checking 3 and 4 weight forwards as they tend to be pretty nimble on their skates. Sjodin is still the #1 option in Dallas and not a bad one at that.

Mark Tinordi: I still can't give Tinordi a full reccomendation here as his CB check game is mitigated by his average skating. The guys he can keep up with (Hull, Turgeon, Sandstrom, etc.) are still poke check only options as Tinordi clocks in at a mere 9 weight. Throw in the fact that his shooting prowess will still be difficult to utilize since weight bug checks will continue to rain down on him and his lack of passing, Tinordi is still the clear #3 option.

Richard Matvichuk: 7 weight, 3 speed, not much changes for these guys which leaves Matvichuk a fine emergency option. Just look out for the fast heavyweights, they can give Matvichuk some problems.

Craig Ludwig: A little bit less of a liability now that he can really lay some wood but his lack of skating will him make him completely reliant on pristine positioning. Still clearly not starter worthy, but may not require an immediate substitution to keep him from being a default sub.

Bottom Line

Personnel wise Dallas remains largely the same as they are great skating club with a bunch of middleweight players and one weight bugger who remains relevant since he isn't relied upon offensively. The bigger and slower teams like Pittsburgh, Boston, and St. Louis may have picked up some ground but they will still have plenty of issues dealing with Dallas as their speed will cause problems regardless of the opponent.

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These are awesome!

I wish I was good enough to really put these to use in Toronto.

I'll be studying my lines with AJ on the flight to Toronto.

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These are awesome!

I wish I was good enough to really put these to use in Toronto.

I'll be studying my lines with AJ on the flight to Toronto.

don't forget the home/away advantages for each team.

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Love these AJ. The originals and the CB notes both

I still think Dallas is arguably the second best team in the game, behind Detroit of course. Modano Courtnall and Broten are just way too stacked

Broten is a freaking great player on his own even offensively. His skating feels so nice

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Love these AJ. The originals and the CB notes both

I still think Dallas is arguably the second best team in the game, behind Detroit of course. Modano Courtnall and Broten are just way too stacked

Broten is a freaking great player on his own even offensively. His skating feels so nice

Agreed TK they're definitely underrated. Top 5 for me. Shooting accuracy only real weakness. And 2nd dman marginal at best.

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Damn.. and I thought Dallas was going to be my secret weapon!

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Agreed TK they're definitely underrated. Top 5 for me.

They are in my top 5 as well, not very user friendly at first but they are pretty sweet once you level up with them.

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