Stargazing: A Dallas Stars Puckcast | Defending Big D
Road Trip Roundabout

Road Trip Roundabout

October 22, 2021

Can you believe the Dallas Stars have been playing for more than a week and haven’t done a single game at home? That all changes tonight as the Victory Green Gang finally returns to Victory Park to take on the Los Angeles Kings.

That means only one thing for the DBD crew: podcasting. (And by that we mean it means a whole bunch of things, of which podcasting is only one, but it’s a very big part.) Wes and Taylor sat down to create some easy listening for the Stars faithful as they make their way to Victory Park, and it turned into a long review of the opening road trip. In this episode:

  • Why this style, and why now?
  • What’s the difference between managing your energy and powering down completely?
  • How long will it take for a Tyler Seguin - Jamie Benn - Alexander Radulov line to re-establish their chemistry?
  • Should Rick Bowness break them up now rather than wait around to find out?
  • In what world will a goal sniper like Denis Gurianov get the playmaking support he needs when he’s playing on the ding-dang fourth line?
  • While we’re on the subject, do you really help any struggling player by, you know, making it harder for them to succeed?
  • How much has Jani Hakanpää softened the blow of losing Jamie Oleksiak?
  • What are we to make of a souped-up power play that has scored one time in 10 opportunities to date?
  • How much is there to like about Stars goaltending right now?
  • And when does the John Klingberg money truck back up to his driveway?

What would an alien who’d never seen hockey before think of the Stars’ brand of it? These answers and more await you in Stargazing – now with 37 percent more home-opener swag.

Any burning questions? Let us know, and be part of the next podcast! Post them in the comments, or DM us @WesALawrence or @KETibbetts.

And please don’t forget to rate, review and share at our Podbean site, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon, or wherever you subscribe to Stargazing.

A Dallas Stars Season Preview

A Dallas Stars Season Preview

October 14, 2021

The Dallas Stars return to regular-season ice tonight in Madison Square Garden. Whatever will you do as you wait for the start of the season opener against the New York Rangers?... Maybe podcasting will help.

Wes, Taylor and Greg gathered last night in anticipation of this very moment. Now you get to hear their conversation as they talk out the last of the preseason yips. In this edition:

  • After you take out the contracts and NHL experience levels, is Dallas starting the season with the best netminding tandem available?
  • How high is the team’s confidence in Anton Khudobin – and how high should it be?
  • Is is possible that having Khudobin and Braden Holtby in Dallas and Jake Oettinger in Cedar Park creates a rare win-win-win situation?
  • Will the back-to-normal schedule help or hurt?
  • What about the sudden rash of illness and injury in the offensive corps?
  • Has Jacob Peterson made his case as a top-nine forward, or as a top-six forward?
  • Will Miro Heiskanen stop deferring to his defensive partner now that he won’t be deferring to Jamie Oleksiak?
  • And is this team ready to be as expectation-heavy as it is?

This is your last preseason opportunity to rag on us for our goaltending obsession. Can you resist? Let’s go Stargazing.

What’s more important – losing 2-1 the right way, or winning 2-1 by betraying the system? Let us know, and be part of the next podcast! Post your questions in the comments or at Defending Big D, or DM us @WesALawrence or @KETibbetts.

And because we’re really, truly dying for your approval: Please don’t forget to rate, review and share!

On Trusting The Process

On Trusting The Process

October 8, 2021

The Dallas Stars’ preseason is nearly at its end, and things look...good? But now that the Braden Holtby, Starting Goaltender conversation has begun in earnest, what else should we be noticing?

Wes and Taylor have seen a few things in the preseason that have burned the Victory Green Gang in the regular season. So they spent a good half-hour taking inventory. (PLEASE NOTE: This conversation took place before the Stars’ 3-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, in which Taylor herself chose Anton Khudobin as the First Star of the Game, so there’s that.)

In this edition:

  • Has Braden Holtby’s preseason performance helped clarify the Stars’ netminding decisions?
  • What should we make of the amount of ice time allotted to the top forwards?
  • Strike that: What should we make of Alexander Radulov out there blocking shots in a preseason game?
  • Has Mavrik Bourque played his way into a nine-game tester?
  • Will Jacob Peterson be on the opening-night roster?
  • What are the chances that Dallas carries an extra forward instead of an eighth defenseman this season?
  • What does all of this say about the Stars’ roster depth?
  • And what form of this team will head into the regular season?

Know the code: “Maple” is turtling when you’re down a goal, “Honey” is turtling when you’re up a goal. And there’s more where that came from, because this is Stargazing.

Are you ready for the regular season, except for that one nagging question about the existential crisis of Stars fandom? Then be part of the next podcast: Post your questions in the comments or at Defending Big D, or DM us @WesALawrence or @KETibbetts.

Pondering The Preseason

Pondering The Preseason

October 1, 2021

The Dallas Stars have played two preseason games so far and lost both of them in overtime. It’s almost as if last season never ended, eh?

Well, let’s not jump to conclusions. Wes and Taylor got on the call last night and talked about everything from 3-on-3 strategy to that fugue state a dude enters the moment he gets hit in the junk. In this episode:

  • Should we worry that Dallas’ inability to close out a game in overtime seems to have become the recurring theme for 2021?
  • Can the team shake its tendency to play 40 minutes of decent hockey in a 60-minute game?
  • Is it too soon to tell if Jason Robertson taken over Jason Dickinson’s role as the designated target? ...Is it a Jason thing?
  • Will Rick Bowness’ plan to give each of the Stars’ goaltenders an entire preseason game turn out to be the best way to pick a starter?
  • What does Jake Oettinger need to do to keep himself in that conversation?
  • And where is Thomas Harley on the AHL-to-NHL continuum?
  • What stage of the buddy-cop movie are John Klingberg and Ryan Suter playing out?
  • How much has Jacob Peterson’s stock risen since Traverse City?
  • How did Alexander Radulov and Tyler Seguin look?
  • And how does the Stars’ forward corps stack up so far?

Get the answers to these questions, plus a surprise guest appearance by Wes’ kids, right here in Stargazing. It’s almost like we had an actual run of show!

Are you ready for the regular season? Then be part of the next podcast! Post your questions in the comments or at Defending Big D, or DM us @WesALawrence or @KETibbetts.

From Traverse City To Training Camp

From Traverse City To Training Camp

September 24, 2021

The long wait has entered its last mile: The Dallas Stars have returned to training camp. After the series of disasters that defined last season, anything short of the rink burning down around them will be an improvement.

But how will this team come together over the next few weeks? We’re not sure, either – but Wes, Mark and Taylor discuss everything from the Traverse City NHL Prospect Tournament to Braden Holtby’s tortoises in an effort to figure it out. In this edition:

  • What, if anything, actually matters about the Prospect Tournament?
  • Does a prospect’s performance there say anything about whether he’s good at hockey?
  • What did the Stars do differently from every other team in the tournament?
  • Does Ty Dellandrea’s peak game depend on him getting a couple of years older (and bigger)?
  • What did Taylor learn about the state of the team at the opening of training camp?
  • What really shut down Alexander Radulov last season?
  • What should we infer when Tyler Seguin tells the media he feels “dangerous” this year?
  • How did the Long-Term Injury line of Seguin, Radulov and Joel Kiviranta look?
  • What should we make of the John Klingberg-Ryan Suter and Miro Heiskanen-Esa Lindell practice pairings?
  • For that matter, what should we make of the big news about Ben Bishop’s injury status?
  • Is this Rick Bowness’ first big chance to install his System 2.0 and test it out?
  • And how hard is it to tell how the team looks overall when you’re really just watching them do drills?

Are you looking forward to see how Segs’ cybernetic leg will perform? Then you’re among friends here at Stargazing – the official podcast of Unbridled Training Camp Energy.

Get your own training on and be part of the next podcast! Post your questions in the comments or at Defending Big D, or DM us @WesALawrence or @KETibbetts.

NHL Ready?

NHL Ready?

September 17, 2021

Dallas Stars hockey is almost here! But not quite! And many of us still don’t know how we’re going to watch the games! ...Maybe podcasting will help?

Wes, David, Mark and Taylor thought so. In this edition:

  • Will the Stars maximize Thomas Harley’s offensive-defenseman talents, or will he stay in Cedar Park until he starts hitting more?
  • What about the tension between icing the most talented team possible versus putting out the players who can play the system?
  • How does the perception of being in a (possibly closing) Stanley Cup window affect that calculus?
  • Are players like Harley better off spending another season with a new-school coach like Neil Graham anyway?
  • Which Dallas defenders will best fit the power-play puzzle?
  • Is Dallas’ system destroying John Klingberg? And what’s the correct thing to do if John Klingberg doesn’t fit your system?
  • Trick question: What’s 23 minus 5?
  • How drastically will Dallas’ existing talent pipeline affect the way they need to play?
  • And what can you expect from that talent as the Traverse City NHL Prospects Tournament begins?

Can you mark the spot where we accidentally muted Dave? Listen to Stargazing and find out!

Get your own preseason training in and be part of the next podcast. Post your questions in the comments or at Defending Big D, or DM us @WesALawrence or @KETibbetts.

 

Episode 145: Needles And Pins

Episode 145: Needles And Pins

September 10, 2021

We’re about to go from zero to hockey in a period of mere days. What will you do? ...What will you do?

Wes Lawrence and Taylor Baird sat down to discuss forwards and line combos, but a sudden outbreak of actual Dallas Stars headlines gave them even better things to talk about. Among the topics:

  • How should fans interpret Saad Yousuf’s money quote in The Athletic that Tyler Seguin “only require[s] acupuncture every 36 hours”?
  • How much should we read into David Satriano’s assertion at NHL.com that Ben Bishop “likely will be healthy”?
  • How much more does Miro Heiskanen have to do to impress the hockey men who create meaningless rankings and vote on the Norris Trophy?
  • How much unseen work goes into the maintenance of a professional athlete, and how overwrought do we get when we don’t understand that context?
  • How much of getting healthy is really about getting rested?
  • And how much will the return to a normal, non-punishing, non-COVID schedule help?

All this, plus a fan question and a free review of the league’s long-term injured reserve rules – what more could you possibly want? Answer in the comments, because right now, we’re Stargazing.

What would you do to make the Stars’ penalty-kill unit? Be part of the next podcast by posting your questions in the comments, or DM’ing us @WesALawrence or @KETibbetts.

Episode 144: Who‘s Minding The Store?

Episode 144: Who‘s Minding The Store?

September 3, 2021

The Dallas Stars have NHL-level goalies to spare – but how will they manage the crowd in the crease? Do they have a clear-cut starter – or starting brigade? And to what extent are those decisions fully in their own hands?

Wes and Tyler tend to get all worked up about this stuff, and when they do, they podcast. And pace. (Plays hell with the Bluetooth sometimes.) In this episode:

  • Who is the Stars’ starter, and is that as straightforward as it looks?
  • Who is their backup...and is that as straightforward as it looks?
  • How might a 1A-1B situation work?
  • Will the return to a full schedule help or complicate matters?
  • Jake Oettinger will be The Guy somewhere – but will that be in Dallas or in Cedar Park?
  • Does Anton Khudobin have a bounceback year in him?
  • Do you sign Braden Holtby if you don’t plan to play him in the NHL?
  • What can we expect from Ben Bishop?
  • And even with all these netminders, do the Stars have actual organizational depth?

Can you go 30 minutes without weighing in on the Holtby signing? If you can’t...come sit next to us. You’re with Stargazing.

Let’s get through the next few weeks together: Be part of the next podcast by posting your questions in the comments or at Defending Big D, or by DM’ing us @WesALawrence or @KETibbetts.

Episode 143: Center Points

Episode 143: Center Points

August 27, 2021

After last week’s gripping discussion of the Dallas Stars’ options at the sixth-defender position, Wes Lawrence and Tyler Mair decided to get deep into the weeds with the latest podcast. And what better way to shed light on the thankless and invisible work of making a team run than by tackling a discussion of...centers?

This season, there’s a Stieg Larsson level of intrigue involved in reading which Stars will take the pivot position. This week’s discussion revolves around questions like these:

  • Who is the Stars’ No. 1 center right now?
  • Does a team need one when it has that forward who’s basically a cheat code on skates?
  • Speaking of Tyler Seguin, can he do the team more good at wing this year?
  • And what will Peak Segs look like after nearly an entire season off, for better or otherwise?
  • Is Jamie Benn a legitimate long-term option at pivot?
  • What are the pros and cons of placing The Captain on what may end up as a checking line?
  • Is Radek Faksa due for a bounce-back year?
  • And can the new forward lines recapture the high-scoring ways that made the Bubble Run so much fun?

How negative are your Stars tweets? Get in – we’re going Stargazing.

Training camp is still weeks away. Help us help you make it through by posting your questions in the comments, or DM’ing us @WesALawrence or @KETibbetts.

 

Episode 142: Assume The Position

Episode 142: Assume The Position

August 20, 2021

Another Texas August has hit Dallas Stars fans like a half-ton of hot, humid bricks. And if you, too, have hit that stage of hockey deprivation where you start hallucinating that it’s one of those Olympic events you just watched on CNBC at 3 a.m., then we have the episode for you.

Wes Lawrence and Tyler Mair took a throwaway comment about Dallas’ third pair and spun it into 45 minutes of pure podcasting gold. In this edition:

  • How will handedness decide who lines up with whom?
  • Is Jani Hakanpää that one guy who can stop a cycle?
  • Can Andrej Sekera’s veteran savvy help him play through his injury history?
  • Will Joel Hanley munch enough minutes to make up the difference?
  • Has the Stars’ activity in free agency created an AHL superteam as a knock-on effect?
  • And how might all this veteran grit benefit, rather than block, Thomas Harley?

All this will be yours, along with some solid-gold Stars memories. You’re Stargazing!

What will get you through the next few puck-less weeks? Be part of the next podcast by posting your questions in the comments or at Defending Big D, or DM’ing us @WesALawrence or @KETibbetts.

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