If you follow the Dallas Stars, then you understand that times are currently pretty tough. It’s a shame, really, because the Stars are coming off a nice playoff run in 2019, and then a tremendous charge to the Stanley Cup Finals in last season’s Edmonton bubble. A casual fan of this franchise might infer that this team is an up-and-coming stalwart.
Well, long time followers of the Stars will tell you that the last two seasons are the exception to the rule. In fact, 2019 and 2020 represent only the third and fourth playoff appearances in the last twelve years. To be sure, the era fronted by Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin has manufactured more fits and starts than playoff glory.
The Dallas Stars are playing well enough to win, but “well enough” won’t cut it.
This isn’t to throw Benn and Seguin under the bus. The Stars’ overall woes haven’t been their fault, at least not entirely. But they do provide a good jumping-off point when addressing the overall malaise of the current iteration of Stars’ hockey. And right now it’s just a team beset by inconsistency and injuries.
In Benn’s case, I believe he’s been fine. He’s the longstanding captain of the team, and last year’s playoff run proved he could helm them through a protracted playoff run. In Seguin’s case, he’s simply representative of a larger injury bug that has plagued the team since before the season even began.
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Coach Rick Bowness has said all along that he was going to play the younger kids. In one particular case, that of left winger Jason Robertson, it’s paid off. Robertson has four goals and nine assists in nineteen games played, and has really seemed to find his stride lately. In other cases, namely center Ty Dellandrea and right wingers Tanner Kero and Joel L’Esperance, the payoff hasn’t been as apparent. Throw in the injuries to left winger Roope Hintz and right winger Alexander Radulov, and the mix is just off on a lot of nights. What makes it more frustrating is that the Stars are doing a lot of good things. It’s just not translating to consistent wins, and that needs to change in a hurry.
But even through all this, there are some positive signs. Despite the lack of picking up two points on a night-to-night basis, the Stars have gained at least a point in five of their last six games and have posted a 3-1-2 mark during that stretch. As of this post, they are eleven points behind fourth-place Chicago with five games in hand. A hot week would realistically put them right back in the playoff race.
Last but not least, the aforementioned Radulov returned to the lineup on Sunday after being out since early February. The forward played over sixteen minutes and wasn’t a factor in the Stars’ lone regulation goal. But he deposited the sick backhand winner in the shootout for the full two points. If you’re a believer in signs, there couldn’t have been a better one to potentially spark a long winning streak
- Published on 03/15/2021 at 12:30 PM
- Last updated at 03/15/2021 at 10:53 AM