Ken Hitchcock often talks about the number 105.
That’s how the Stars coach is defining special teams success this season. The power play percentage and the penalty kill percentage, when added together, need to be above 105 for the Dallas Stars head coach to be content.
Heading into the fourth game of the season it’s worked out so far. The Stars penalty kill has a success rate of 85.7 percent, while the power play is converting on 27.3 percent of it’s opportunities — that adds up to 113.
It’s still early and it’s been an extremely small sample size, so Hitchcock won’t be too excited at this point. But it is a sign that things are moving in the right direction for Dallas. Last season the Stars total number added up to 91.8, with a penalty kill at 73.9 percent and a power play at 17.9 percent.
Nemeth shining in Colorado
Everything this early in the season comes with a small sample size asterisk, but former Stars defender Patrik Nemeth has seized an opportunity with the Colorado Avalanche after getting claimed off of waivers.
In four games with the Avalanche Nemeth has three assists, is plus-7, and hasn’t taken a penalty playing on one of the top pairings in Colorado.
It’s an ideal setting for Nemeth, who wouldn’t have had that opportunity this season with Dallas.
The Avalanche were actually high on Nemeth last season, and had kicked around ideas of trading for the defender but never made the move. The Stars had hoped to trade Nemeth this season instead of losing him on waivers, but the Avalanche were confident the overall market had cooled for the defender and they could bring him in on a waiver claim when the Stars ultimately needed to trim a defender from the roster.
— The mailbag comes out tomorrow. You can get your questions in by asking on Twitter, commenting on reddit, or commenting on this post.
— The podcast returns later this week. Ryan’s schedule has gotten a bit hectic, so I have a guest co-host lined up and we are tentatively planning to record after the Stars practice Friday.
The Stars are in Nashville for a game with the Predators. They are expected to use a similar lineup to the one they used in a 4-2 victory against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday.