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What's the bigger need: goaltending or defense?


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We know the Stars were capable of scoring this year. Only the Lightning scored more goals this past season, and that was by a huge margin of one. However, they seemed entirely incapable of stopping goals, as they allowed the fifth-most goals of any team. Even with all of their firepower, their goal differential was only +1. It's glaringly obvious that if they want to return to the playoffs, the Stars will need to do something to bring that goals against number down. Do they need to focus on the net or the blue line to do it?


Kari Lehtonen was atrocious this year. I don't know how else to put that. Jhonas Enroth's stats were better, but he only played in 13 games, so it's hard to judge. The Stars got plenty of offense from their defensemen, with Klingberg, Daley, and Goligosky contributing 40,38, and 36 points respectively, but the unit as a whole didn't seem to contribute much on defense itself.


So, that said, if you were the Stars' GM, would your top focus be on bringing in some goal-tending, or a solid d-man or two?

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Enroth is not the answer unless the question is who is the really bad backup goalie in Dallas.


As for Lehtonen, even before this year, there was a contingent on here that referred to him as Let four in. He single handedly did his best to ruin my fantasy hockey season, and managed to tank the Stars season.


Defensively, Daley had a career year, Klingberg was fun to watch, beyond that, well you have Jamie Benn's brother, I cannot think of any reason he is in the league other than that, Goligoski who went from bad to wretched throughout the year, a bunch of prospects who are uninspiring and Jason Demers who was found wanting in San Jose.


 So in short an uninspired defense in front of bad goaltending. They need a shut down defenseman (or two) and give Enroth the boot and sign or trade for a real backup goalie who can push Let four in. They were fun to watch all year, kind of eighties hockey, 5 times they lost games in regulation that they had a three goal lead. Much more fur in fantasy (excepting Lehtonen) than in reality.

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It's goaltending and only an okay defense.

Trade Letfourin for Mike Smith. The money is doable both ways. Letfourin is better on a team not expected to win but is horrible the moment expectations are raised. He is sufficient for the Coyotes.

Mike Smith still has something in him and will rebound a bit in Dallas.

Dallas will not get a better goalie for Letfourin and they can't afford to bring an FA in with him still there.

If the Coyotes are willing to do it (not sure they would be) that's the way to go.

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Personally, I think Dallas' issues are a combination of goaltending and the defense.


That said, if I could only pick one, I would say Dallas needs to get a bit more responsible defensemen.

I am not saying Kari Lehtonen is particularly good, but contrary to popular belief, I don't think he is terrible either.


I've said before he is one of those B-tier type goalies who is good enough to win you games during the regular season, but will be subject to lapses, and he certainly isn't the type of goaltender you win a Cup with.

In short, he ranges from an average to slightly above average (when he is on) goalie who could sure benefit from a tighter defense.


As things stand, Lehtonen, is badly exposed playing in front of a porous D.

Any modicum of positive things from the guy get absolutely buried under a defense that leaves gaping holes in coverage, takes WAY too many chances while banking the goalie will cover mistakes (remember, Kari isn't top tier enough for that), and basically gets outplayed in their own zone.


To be honest, not so sure if it's the actual defensemen or the style of play, but as long as Dallas is going to have D-men whose primary focus seems to be adding to the offense (good thing), they will need a goalie who can cover mistakes regularly....and Lehtonen isn't that guy.


Put Lehtonen on a team with an above average to good defense, and he looks better...though still by no means A+.


Ideally, if you're Dallas, you'd like to replace the goaltender and either replace certain defensemen, or revamp the way the defense plays, well....defense.


But since Dallas is kinda stuck with Lehtonen for the next three years, I think getting a premium, smart, shut down defenseman or two...or at least some decent stay at-home types would be the way to go for the Stars in the meantime.

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Interesting trade offer Rux, like you said not sure what is in it for the 'Yotes. Frankly I am not sold in Smith, I see him in the same way as Bryz and Dubnyk, veteran tenders without much track record who got there career on track after goalie guru Sean Burke. Smith has been breaking down over the last year and a half, I would be weary of him.


 Scott, if I was fixing one it would be defense. Goligoski, Klingberg and Daley are all capable of providing offense but only Daley has a defensive skill to match the offense.

I like my defensive pairings to have one offensive and one defensive player. I would put Daley on my top pair with a defensive specialist, a Paul Martin for instance. I would put Klingberg with another, say Barrett Jackman. Neither is sexy, neither is going to cost a fortune but both make up for a lot of mistakes from their partners.

 Then, I would trade Goligoski for a solid backup goalie. He has value but his skill is redundant. He has offensive skill but gets pushed around. Maybe Goligoski for Cam Ward who Carolina would love to move and who I think still has gas in the tank if he gets out of Carolina, or for Reimer in Toronto.

The third pair I would go with Demers and young Jokipakka and get the ridiculously bad Jordie Benn the Hell out of town.



Daley Martin

Klingberg Jackman

Demers Jokipakka



Lehtonen (sigh, he makes too much no way to deal him)

Cam Ward


Personally with all that offense they have, I think that is enough to put them over the top and a lock for the playoffs.

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