Stars: Mental Toughness Has Been Key


The Dallas Stars’ mental toughness has been key to to keeping them in games and helping them overcome deficits.

The Dallas Stars are off to a great start and currently hold the top position in the Western Conference. With lots of early success, their offense has been key, however their attitude in times of despair has been the most important part of a few of their victories.

Three wins in particular come to mind when the Stars’ mental toughness is questioned:

  1. October 13th against the Edmonton Oilers
  2. October 17th against the Florida Panthers
  3. October 27th against the Anaheim Ducks.

On October 13th, the Stars played just their third game of the regular season. After a disappointing blowout loss to the Colorado Avalanche just a few nights before, the Stars were looking to rebound. They went up 2-0, before seeing the Oilers rally back to tie.

During the 2014-15 season, that would’ve most likely been a loss for the Stars. Whenever things didn’t go their way, they would become frustrated. Jason Spezza, the Stars second line center, had other ideas against the Oilers. His hat trick kept the Stars in the game and ultimately led them to a 4-2 victory.

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On October 17th, the Stars matched up against the Panthers, a team that has given them trouble in the past. This time around, Florida netted two quick goals in the second to take a 2-0 lead.  Enter forwards Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Each scored two goals to lead the Stars to another 4-2 lead.

On October 27th, the Stars faced their toughest test yet: a 0-3 deficit after three goals within the last six minutes of the first period. They managed to survive a barrage of chances and grinded out the rest of the game to get a 4-3 win.

New addition, Patrick Sharp, got his first goal of the season on the power play. That was followed by a shorthanded goal from Cody Eakin and the game-tying goal from defenseman John Klingberg. Eventually, the Stars got the game-winner off of a two-on-one with forwards Vernon Fiddler and Antoine Roussel on the attack.

All three of these wins have showed something special about the Stars that we haven’t seen in recent seasons: they are finally able to battle back despite facing adversity. In recent seasons, the Stars were known for either giving up leads and eventually losing or not knowing how to react if they went into a hole early.

Instead of folding, they have taken things slowly and used the “one at a time” approach when facing deficits. A good example of that came in the game against the Ducks that I mentioned above. Even though they took a penalty early in the second and it took them a little while to finally get on the board, they showed patience and composure during a time when panic would’ve been evident last season.

It’s obvious that this Stars team has a different demeanor on the ice and it is certainly showing whenever they are faced with tough situations. If they can continue to close games with authority, they will be a more feared team and will win a few more games that they might have lost in recent seasons.

Next: Offensive Weapons Helping Stars Early On

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