Dallas Stars: The end of a long, cruddy week…

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

I probably spoke too soon last week about the Dallas Stars and their decent start. Or perhaps I jinxed them in some way. In any event, the Stars’ recent fortunes have taken a significant turn for the worse in the past calendar week, and it all comes back to their perennial bugaboo: scoring goals.

This most recent downturn started of inauspiciously enough. Head coach Rick Bowness called a timeout in the second period of last Monday’s loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets in order to read his team the riot act. It wasn’t G-rated by any stretch. Bowness then decried his team’s lack of competitiveness in the postgame presser, which is never a good sign regardless of the time of year.

A frustrating dearth of goal scoring is presently derailing the Dallas Stars.

The Stars, for their part, responded with what was probably their most complete effort of the season at home against Las Vegas on Wednesday. And for fifty minutes of game time, they looked well on their way to remedying what ailed them. But they gave up a late equalizer before losing a heartbreaker in overtime.

Finally, on Friday night, they just appeared disjointed in a demoralizing 4-1 loss to Ottawa. This one was frustrating to watch on a few levels. The Stars played strongly more often than not, but it seemed like every little mistake ended up in the back of their net. Conversely, they assaulted Senator goalie Filip Gustavsson with 39 shots, but were only able to pot one measly goal.

Look, it’s not rocket science. The Stars’ early season woes come down to putting the puck in the net. They’ve scored fifteen goals in eight games. They’re simply not going to win much while averaging less than two goals per game. As far as the solution is concerned, well, it’s easier said than done, but they’re going to have to find it within themselves to score more and get this ship righted.

On paper, the answers are inside their own locker room. The simple law of averages dictates that some of these primo chances they’re generating will sooner or later find twine behind opposition goaltenders. It’s just no solace now, and it certainly doesn’t wear well with the notoriously skittish fan base that’s ready to panic at the slightest misstep.

It may not seem this way to the cynics among us, but this roster is still built to win now. It’s still littered with names like Benn, Seguin, Radulov, Heiskanen, and Pavelski, among others. I’m as stressed out as the next fan, but my eyes are also seeing a team that will get their share of breaks sooner or later. For better or worse, they have to. Wholesale changes will come if they fail to make the playoffs.

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The rest of the conference is complying in the interim. The lower half of the NHL Central Division is off to a poor start as well, and the Stars themselves are currently only a point out of the second wild card spot in the West. So while they can’t afford to continue their losing ways, they’ve got the time to figure it out. We’ll have to trust that they will before it’s too late.

  • Published on 11/01/2021 at 11:50 AM
  • Last updated at 11/01/2021 at 11:50 AM