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New Stars coach credits team’s character for hot start

Stars Coach Hockey

New Dallas Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan speaks at a news conference, Monday, June 20, 2011, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Matt Strasen)


Hands up if you’d heard the name Glen Gulutzan a month ago.

Check that. Hands up if you’d heard the name Glen Gulutzan before you read that sentence.

Gulutzan, if your hand is down, is the new head coach of the Dallas Stars. He was hired in June to replace Marc Crawford.

The Star-Telegram’s Mac Engel spoke with the first-year bench boss about the team’s 11-3-0 start that has it sitting first overall in the NHL.

Gulutzan is quick to give all the credit to the players.

“I don’t think it’s me,” he said. “It’s the players that we brought in; there really is a lot of character. I think it’s the perfect storm. New younger players, seven of them, that want to make an impression. There is no better way to do that than on the ice. The older guys who have been here, this is a little new so it’s exciting. I really think, though, that this is a team with good characters of people who really want to win.”

Gulutzan also has high praise for Jamie Benn, the big winger who leads the Stars with 18 points in 14 games.

“He’s 22 and he’s so tough, and he plays both ways,” said Gulutzan. “I know people want the team to go out and get big names, but he’s that guy. We have one of those guys right here.”

The Stars continue their four-game trip in Pittsburgh tonight. They’ve already beaten Carolina and Washington. Tomorrow they’re in Detroit to play the Red Wings.

Tough trip. But so far, so good.