It was the Finnish Mafia show in Dallas on Monday night. Of the four goals Dallas scored, three of them were tallied by Finnish players.
After Tyler Seguin tied the game with his first of the season off a beautiful pass from Ty Dellandrea, the Finns took over.
Jani Hakanpaa got things going with a bomb slapshot from the point. Then after a few golden chances in tight, Joel Kiviranta scored on his own one-timer from an identical spot on the ice. Finally, in the third, Miro Heiskanen joined the party with a power-play goal…also by slapshot.
“On that shift, I had a one-on-one with that big guy and I think I dropped my toolbox on the floor, I didn’t know what to do,” Kiviranta joked. “Luckily, I got another one.”
Esa Lindell and Roope Hintz also picked up assists bringing the total to five points for the Finns. Perhaps it has something to do with the post-practice Finnish shootarounds…
“We all Finns like to shoot one-timers after practice,” Kiviranta said. “This morning, Miro was passing me maybe 10 pucks and I was missing the net nine of them…so I was just trying to get a little over.”
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) October 16, 2022
The Stars did not start well in the game, one of the few differences from the matchups with the Predators. But after allowing the first goal and trailing for the first time this season, they began to skate and found a way to score the next four and take control of the game.
“It was an interesting game. I didn’t love our start the first 10 minutes,” Stars Coach Pete DeBoer said. “I thought we worked into the game, I thought we got better as the game went on. Jake made some saves in order to allow us to work into it with some key saves at key moments. Other than that first 10 minutes, I think we did a good job.”
With the win, Dallas moves to 3-0-0 to begin the season. They have outscored their opponents 13-3, key players are scoring, and both sides of their special teams have been elite. There is a lot to be happy about in Big D.
The increased offense was something expected with the arrival of Pete DeBoer. And after a season in which they struggled to score outside of their top line, it was the primary focal point during the summer. But even the new Head Coach didn’t see this outburst coming together as soon as it did.
“I did. I thought that this group would be able to score, I really did,” he said. “I didn’t know to what degree, but I felt that we could be, and would have to be more than a one-line team, which is the tag that was hung on them last year. Just about every line has chipped in so far through three games and we want to continue to do that.”
Looking back to the summer, it was more than common that a player or coach mentioned the poor starts that Dallas has faced recently. It has put them behind immediately beginning new seasons and has forced them to scratch and claw just to get into the playoffs.
The team was very determined to change that this year and so far, they have boosted themselves to first in the Division and a perfect record.
“We talked since the first meeting in Austin about our start,” Seguin said. “Our starts here in Dallas over the years haven’t been great. We’ve been chasing the ball all the way to American Thanksgiving and sometimes out of playoffs just fighting for our lives. We wanted to come off to a good start, and three is good.”
Now we get to see how this new-look Stars team handles a four-game Eastern Conference road swing. Should be fun.
Sam’s Three Stars
- First Star: Tyler Seguin, DAL (1 goal)
- Second Star: Mason Marchment, DAL (2 assists)
- Third Star: Ty Dellandrea, DAL (1 assist)
He Said It
“Our opportunities this year feel a little different,” Seguin said. “A lot more on the rush, playing a lot quicker. Our D are really getting that puck up quicker and our forwards are getting open, it’s hard to stop.”