With the first week of March almost behind us, the Dallas Stars seem yet to find how to win games. Losing 12 of their last 14 games, the Stars are slowly becoming not only the worst team in the Central division, but also in the league with only Buffalo behind them. Unless the Stars can figure out their problems and change their play, their trajectory will lead them to becoming one of the worst teams in the league.
A Dying Star
Just like how a star in the galaxy eventually burns all of its energy and combusts, it seems that the Dallas Stars have done the same thing. We probably saw their best play from them during this last game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, in which they did not score for two whole periods and almost came back (if not for some questionable calls from the refs). There must be something going on between the older players, as it seems the younger guys are having to try their best. The Taxi Squad kids are trying to adjust to being in the pros, but with a team that is constantly on losing streaks, the new kids will not be able to grow in a positive manner and will just result in a slow start to their career. The players seemed to be zapped of energy, because they do not seem to be able to control the puck and keep any momentum going. Another issue is how unable to score a goal the Stars seem to be. We only have one player who has played all 18 games this season who has over 5 goals, Joe Pavs, who has 10 goals through 18 games. Unless the Stars can start netting some goals and drive up their own energy, then the lackluster Stars will slowly fade away, just like an actual star in space.
The Stars Showing Life?
Sometimes, the Stars show some life. A most recent example would be the 3rd of the Blue Jackets game on Thursday night. For two whole periods, Dallas could not keep control of the puck and just seemed timid on the ice. Luckily for most of the two periods, the Blue Jackets seemed the same way. But once Columbus scored with only two minutes left in the second, the Stars lost their fight and would let them score two more times, both under 5 minutes into the 3rd period. However, only a few minutes later, Miro Heiskanen would go on to score his first goal of the season and the Stars first goal in three games. After that, something seemed to shift in the Stars, as if they finally gained some energy to put up a fight. Jason Robertson would go on to score with half of the third to go. The Stars would pressure the Blue Jackets for those 10 minutes in the 3rd period. But it would seem the refs from the bubble playoffs would show up again, as some pretty blatant no calls for the Stars would occur and then the Blue Jackets would close out the last few minutes of the game on a power play from the result of a soft and bogus call against the Stars.
🎥 Rick Bowness: “We found our legs and everything in the third period. So, we are just going to try to build off of that third period. I know they got two, but we will build off that third period. That’s what we will do.”@ATT | #GoStars pic.twitter.com/clRSG0EMzk
Even though I would love to blame the refs for us losing that game, the Stars did not score for almost 190 minutes across 3 games, which is just ridiculous. The Stars have shown some life during this giant losing streak, like actually winning 2 games in February, but there just seems to be plaguing the Stars. Whether it’s the reliance on the Taxi Squad kids due to the injuries piling up, the injuries to players like Radulov, Hintz, Seguin, and Bishop, or some other locker room thing, the Stars are looking awful. The lack of an ability to score and the lack of constant pressure on the opposition are just beating the Stars and they keep slipping down the standings in both the division and the league.
🎥 Jamie Benn: “It’s not good. I will tell you that. We have to find a way to win some hockey games.”@ATT | #GoStars pic.twitter.com/w25oeau30O
Dallas has slipped to dead last in the Central division, behind Nashville and Detroit. With us gaining no points within the last 4 games, the Stars are falling behind quickly in the division and the league. We are almost at the point of no return and no escape from the bottom. Dallas is going to need to quickly break out of this losing funk and start gaining some points, even if it means losing in overtime/shootout. It has been painful as a Stars fan to watch them slowly slip down the Central standings after the hot start they had for a week and a half, and especially after the accomplishments we earned in the bubble playoffs. At this point, I would even be fine with us not being in the bottom two of the Central. If we can reach the 5th spot, I would say we ended the season well. But unless the Stars start winning some games here and there, then that hope will just diminish and I will just stay as bitter as I am.
Dallas needs to capitalize in March, due to the amount of home games during the month. If Stars cannot win at home, then there is no shot they can win on the road. The Stars will play Columbus tomorrow night, the Predators on Sunday, and then Chicago on Tuesday and Thursday next week. I would like to say that we may have a strong chance against these teams, but unless we show some signs of heart and life, then I don’t believe these games are winnable. Columbus is also in a slump and Nashville has lost the last two games, something the Stars need to realize and capitalize on. Chicago is a big threat being so high in the standings, and unless our first couple of lines can crack their improving goaltending, the Stars are looking at a low score loss again just like the last series with them.
There isn’t a whole a lot to say at this point that has not already been said. The Stars are going to need to create pressure every time they are on the ice and they are going to need to play like they want to win; which means they are going to have to score more, throw more pucks at the opposition’s net, play aggressive defense, and move the puck correctly. The older guys that have been with the team for at least the past 3 or so years are going to have to step up and help these younger guys on the Taxi Squad. Players like Denis Gurianov, Roope Hintz, Miro Heiskanen, and Jamie Oleksiak are going to have to play some of their best hockey if they want to start winning games. The Stars need to catch up with Pavs in both goals and assists, otherwise that puck is going to be in our zone and more than likely in our net. We also need to help control our zone and help our net-minder while on the back check, because like we have seen, if we play sloppy and loose defense, teams will exploit that and just shove goals down our throats.
Unlike some teams in the metroplex, I can never give up completely on the Stars. There is always some part of me that knows we can turn things around and start to play like we have before. Dallas just needs a jump of energy, whether that comes from Rads when he returns from his injuries or thats one of the younger guys stepping up and becoming a leader on this team. Either way, I know the Stars can build from this point, because they have come back before in similar situations, and everyone always wants to count out the Stars, but as we saw in the playoff bubble, the Stars are always ready to prove you wrong. The Revenge Tour needs some life in it, and the Stars can do that some wins in these upcoming games. Build slowly if we have to, but we have to start from somewhere.
Photo Creds: @DallasStars / Twitter.com / https://twitter.com/DallasStars/status/1367653967258292227/photo/2
Dallas Stars Schedule / NHL.com / https://www.nhl.com/stars/schedule/2021-03-01/CT
Dallas Stars Stats / NHL.com / https://www.nhl.com/stars/stats
NHL Hockey Standings / NHL.com / https://www.nhl.com/stars/standings/2020/division