There are certain players that seem built for the playoffs. They have that killer instinct when it comes to crunch time. Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Tom Brady are just a few examples that come to mind. These players tend to thrive when the spotlight is brightest. In hockey, you can point to players like Andrei Vasilevskiy, Eddie Belfour and even more recently Jake Oettinger. The Dallas Stars seem to have found that in their current goaltender.
What about some other players on the team, though? Most notably Jason Robertson. The Dallas Stars all-star from this season tore up the stat sheet. Finishing with a Dallas Stars franchise record 109 points, Robertson was a force to be reckoned with for opposing defenses.
Is it time for the Dallas Stars to worry about Jason Robertson?
Robertson is only 23 years old. He’ll turn 24 this summer so there is still a lot of growth expected from the youngster. He finished the regular season with 46 goals and 63 assists as he helped anchor that top line for the Dallas Stars. Playing along side Roope Hintz and Joe Pavelski obviously has helped the youngster’s ability to put pucks in the back of the net.
Something seemed to click negatively for Robertson, though. Somewhere between game 82 of the regular season and game one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. For the second straight year he hasn’t been a factor in the playoffs. Last season against Calgary, Jason Robertson only managed four points in the seven game series (one goal and three assists). This year his production has been a little better but not by much. In eight games, he has seven points (two goals and five assists).
The more disturbing thing, though, is only four of his playoff points have come at even strength. When you consider the fact that 68 of his 109 points came while playing five on five, the trend is a little alarming. The power play tallies are good, but the Dallas Stars need Robertson to shine while playing at even strength too.
Perhaps its more noticeable considering his line mate, Hintz, is having a fantastic postseason so far. In eight games, Hintz has five goals and eight assists. But like Robertson, his production has been mostly on special team. Hintz has one short handed goal, two on the power play and five assists while playing with the man advantage.
Obviously, both these players are young. Defenses are trying to key in on both of them because of their ability to score and produce offense. Somehow, someway Robertson needs to figure out how to fight through that and put the puck in the back of the net during the post season.
Where does the Dallas Stars captain rank when talking about the all-time franchise greats and should we appreciate his greatness even more?
I, for one, and believing this will happen. Maybe not this year but over time this kid will learn how to produce in the post season.