The Dallas Stars Are Only Getting Better


As hard as it is to believe, the 4-1-0 Dallas Stars have yet to hit their peak efficiency this season.

Following a very uninspiring 1-6-0 preseason, the Dallas Stars started the regular season strong, winning four of the first five. For a young team with an unsettled roster, an offseason shake-up in goal, and numerous new players to integrate, a fast start was an unexpected but welcomed sight.

Few will argue the Dallas Stars have one of the most talented rosters in the NHL. Unfortunately the Dallas Stars also have one of the most inexperienced rosters in the NHL. Add in the uncertainty in the net and you had a very legitimate cause for concern about the 2015-16 Dallas Stars.

A good start to the season is exactly what a team with question marks needs to propel them to stability. Not only does the early success keep the Stars in the driver’s seat but it also allows some of their key pieces a chance to hit their stride at their own pace.

While 4-1-0 is clearly an excellent way to start the season, the Dallas Stars have only scratched the surface of their vast potential, Consider the following…

Dallas Stars Goaltending

Goaltending was presumably objective #1 for the Dallas Stars this offseason. After a very disappointing season in the net last year, the Stars set out to find solid competition and depth with/ahead/behind incumbent goaltender, Kari Lehtonen.

The Stars currently lead the NHL in goals per game (3.80) but they have yet to see the best, from their best.

The Stars added a proven veteran goaltender in Antti Niemi this offseason. He provided a shutout in game one and gives the Stars a solid option alongside Kari going forward. The addition of Niemi will pay its biggest dividends down the stretch.

Two capable goalies will keep both players fresh and allow the Dallas Stars to ride the hot-hand along the way. That is especially key in and around the playoffs. In the meantime, the Stars netminding is doing enough to get the job done and guide the Stars to a 4-1-0 record five games into the season.

Dallas Stars Defense

The defensive youth movement remains a question as the Dallas Stars attempt to develop young rising talent and blend with proven veteran leadership. The defense remains a work-in-progress but is performing at better-than-expected levels early in the season.

The defense and goaltending are working together to move up to #18 in goals-against average. It’s a small sample size in an 82 game season but it’s also a notable improvement over their 29th ranked goal-against average from last season.

Dallas Stars Offense

The Dallas Stars offense is both the highest performing unit as well as the unit most likely to improve as the season progresses. The Stars currently lead the NHL in goals per game (3.80) but they have yet to see the best from their best.

Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin are both among the NHL’s best in scoring again this year, but neither have performed anywhere near their optimal levels this season. Despite the early success, Seguin has looked out of rhythm and off target from time to time. Jamie Benn is still trying to get back to 100% after offseason hip surgery.

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When Benn and Seguin finally get into their groove – watch out. Add Patrick Sharp to that “watch list” as well. Sharp, the biggest offensive offseason acquisition, is still feeling his teammates out. The plays are there on the ice for Patrick Sharp and it’s only a matter of time before he capitalizes.

When the chemistry starts to kick in for Sharp and his linemates, they will be a force to be reckoned with.

Next: Mattias Janmark making an early impact

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The Dallas Stars are playing good hockey right now but anyone who’s been watching knows they can play a whole lot better. The talent is ridiculous and the sky is the limit. As with any young team with questions in goal, there are going to be some pretty big stinkers (case in point: the Colorado Avalanche game), but this team has a ceiling that’s unmatched and the Stars have only scratched the surface.