- Mark Stepneski, ESPNDallas.com
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Forward Toby Petersen has been among the Dallas Stars players skating on their own in Frisco recently. Last week Petersen answered a few questions about the team’s offseason moves and the upcoming season.
On the off season player additions and the team’s depth
“There’s a lot of depth throughout the lineup and I think that can mean nothing but good things for our team. You keep hearing about the rigors of the 82-game schedule and trying to keep everyone fresh, that is spot on. With the added depth I think that will be an important factor for us as we head into January, February and March and we can peak at the end of the season and finish strong.”
On the goal of rolling four lines and spreading out ice time a little more evenly
“Going back to that depth, you’re going to have some new guys in the lineup. You can never predict injuries, but assuming everyone is fresh you’re going to have some changeover or rollover in the lineup from night to night and those guys are going to be fresh. You factor in that they are going to roll lines a little more steadily and that means the top end guys are going to be more fresh as well. I think we are going to be able to play with a lot of pace this year. We’ve been playing with that the past couple years, but I think that will be very true this year with the depth and rolling the lines with the style of play I’ve seen [ head coach Glen Gulutzan] play. I don’t know a lot about that yet and we’ll learn more about it, but I think we’ll be able to play with a lot of pace.”
On the loss of Brad Richards and the impact on the team’s ability to generate offense
“You can’t take anything away from Brad. He’s a special player and it’s hard to replace a lot of the stuff he did. With the moves we made we’ve made a lot of positive steps in doing that. As we talked about, rolling four lines a little bit more. Some of the guys we added for more specific things Brad was able to do. Adding (Sheldon) Souray on the blue line will help us generate offense.
“I went down to Austin two years ago to watch the [Texas Stars] play in the Calder Cup series against Chicago, and you look at their lineup and there weren’t a whole lot of names that popped out at you. But they kept winning and scoring goals and they did it through a defense first. You take care of your own end and you make smart plays in your own end, you are going to create offense. I think that is something he prides himself on and it’s a formula that has worked for him in the past. “
On the impact of the Stars adding some size and toughness during the offseason
“You always talk about the new NHL and every year it is changing depending on who has success in the playoffs. Clearly Boston had a lot of toughness but they had a lot of size as well. You look at teams in the past that have had success, like Pittsburgh, they could play any style. If it’s a defensive struggle they can play in that kind of game, trap it up, and if it’s a track meet like a lot times when they play Washington, they can play that way. You look at Boston, they could adapt to the game. We did a good job adding size and we have guys that can skate out there and create offense, so I think we have a good mix of abilities in our locker room.”