- The Dallas Stars shockingly fired head coach Jim Montgomery
- Speculation is rampant on the “unprofessional conduct” that got him canned
- Will the red-hot Stars continue their run under interim HC Rick Bowness?
After a brutal start to their season that saw them win just one of their first nine games, it looked like it was a lost season in Dallas – but the Stars turned a corner and have since gone on a 16-4-2 tear to position themselves in the first Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.
Dallas’ season got flipped upside down on Tuesday following word that bench boss Jim Montgomery got the heave-ho for “unprofessional conduct” that apparently does not fall under the umbrella of the recent abuse allegations some coaches have been embroiled with.
The Stars had recently become a top-five favorite in the 2020 Stanley Cup Odds, going from +2800 in October to +1100 just two days ago. But they’ve dropped to +2000 at some sportsbooks after the firing.
Should you wager on Dallas to lift Lord Stanley for the first time since 1999?
Odds to Win 2020 Stanley Cup
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+1200|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+1600|
|St. Louis Blues||+1600|
|New York Islanders||+1600|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+2000|
Odds taken December 10th.
Meet The New (Old) Bench Boss
While he hasn’t manned the bench as a head coach since he was the interim man for 20 games in Phoenix way back in 2004, Rick Bowness has vast NHL experience with over 2,000 games in the league, most of which came as an assistant.
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) December 10, 2019
No coaching changes are expected to be made for the remainder of the season giving Bowness by far the best squad he’s ever helmed. You don’t coach that many games in this league without being respected so don’t expect a ton to change for Dallas in the near future – they’ve given up the third-fewest goals against this season.
Another source familiar with the situation says the Dallas Stars really had no choice and also says this is non abuse related. https://t.co/RzHHC26icp
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) December 10, 2019
Dallas Still Struggles to Score
What used to be a huge strength for the Stars was their goal scoring (they were 2nd in the NHL from 2013-2017), which came at the expense of their goals against (4th-worst in that time frame). Under Montgomery, they clamped down in their own end and also had fantastic goaltending from Ben Bishop. Their commitment to defense, however, meant offensive stars like Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn weren’t putting the puck in the net with the same regularity.
"We'll deal with it as a team, and as a group, and keep moving forward."
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) December 10, 2019
Their highest point-getter is Seguin with just 23 this season (Benn has just 15), resulting in the 6th-worst scoring offense this season. Don’t expect that to improve dramatically under Bowness.
Best Value Bet to Win Stanley Cup
The Vegas Golden Knights haven’t been as dominant as pre-season prognosticators suggested, but they’re top-10 in both power play and penalty kill and they boast an impressive set of forwards along with the dependable Marc-Andre Fleury in goal.
They sit fourth in the Pacific, five points behind the Oilers and Coyotes who haven’t had experience being a top team for several years now (with the exception of Edmonton, which finished second in 2016-17). You can do much much worse than betting on Vegas to wrestle the division away and do one better than their historical inaugural campaign and take home the 2020 Stanley Cup.
Pick: Vegas Golden Knights to win Stanley Cup (+1600)
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