In case you’ve missed it, the Vegas Golden Knights play a hockey game tonight.
They probably couldn’t have asked for a tougher first opponent.
The Dallas Stars will welcome the Golden Knights to American Airlines Center tonight with a revamped roster. Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin are still the catalysts to making the machine go, but adding Ben Bishop, Martin Hanzal and Alexander Radulov are pieces that could turn the Stars from worst to Stanely Cup contender this year.
To help us better understand the Stars and what to expect tonight, we’ve gotten some help from Defending Big D managing editor Taylor Baird, who has been kind enough to lend her Dallas expertise for some questions we have.
Is there any way on this planet the collection of nomads known as the Golden Knights slows down the Stars' offensive attack of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and co.?
I mean, they aren't superheroes. They can be contained. Maybe Cody Eakin can use his single-minded puck chasing effectively against the team he left this summer....it's what got him a good contract with Dallas and praise as a two-way center since it worked against Sidney Crosby a few times (but was...adventurous, most of the time, to be honest). All kidding aside, this trio didn't cash in as much as Stars fans would have liked to have seen in the preseason, which means either they'll be quiet tonight, or they're going to explode with offense. Vegas would be wise not to give them too many shots on the power play too, because when you add in John Klingberg on that back end, it could be a very long night for the Golden Knights.
Ken Hitchcock returns to the Stars after a long stint in St. Louis, and of course, was the coach for Dallas' lone Stanley Cup in 1999. Aside from the revamped roster, is he the guy to get this crop of Stars back to the Stanley Cup?
Most around the hockey world believe that he is. Mainly because he demands a defensively responsible style of play, and will hold all of the players accountable when they're abandoning their defensive coverage assignments. They have a lot of the pieces contending rosters usually have, so if he can continue to get the offense from this roster while establishing a structure to keep the goals out, they're going to be well positioned to get back to the Holy Grail.
How refreshing is it going from the failed Kari Lehtonen/Antti Niemi carousel to a Vezina candidate in Ben Bishop?
*Checks the score of the Pittsburgh Penguins game last night*