By: Brennen Krikorian
Last December, following a 19-16-3 start, Dallas Stars CEO Jim Lites publicly criticized the production of the team, more specifically the play of the team’s superstars, Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn.
Following Lites’ “call-out”, Dallas was dominant before ultimately falling to the eventual Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues in double overtime of the Conference Semifinals.
Entering this season, the hopes and expectations were the highest they have been in recent memory. The additions of long-time Sharks captain Joe Pavelski and former MVP Corey Perry seemed to solve the problem for secondary scoring and took the pressure off of the talented Seguin-Benn-Radulov line.
The three-headed monster of Miro Heiskanen, John Klingberg and Esa Lindell highlighted an excellent defensive corps for Dallas. In net, Ben Bishop was coming off a borderline Vezina Trophy bid last year and was an early favorite for the award this season.
On paper, this team has no holes and a was safe pick to reach the finals out of the Western Conference.
However, the Stars start to their season has been the exact opposite.
The team is currently 4-7-1 (9 points) and are just four points ahead of the Ottawa Senators for the worst point total in the league. The worst part about the dreadful start is that there is no single problem. Every aspect of their game has been abysmal. Some of the biggest statistical takeaways are as follows:
- As a team, the Dallas Stars are sitting dead last in goals per game at just 2.08, and have the fourth worst power play, converting just 3 times on 34 power plays (8.8%).
- Arguably the best line in hockey, Seguin-Benn-Radulov, have combined for a total of 15 points.
- Top defenseman John Klingberg has started the season with a -7 +/-, an unacceptable stat for someone averaging nearly 24 minutes of ice time.
- Big name additions Joe Pavelski (making $8,000,000 this season) and Corey Perry (only played four games due to injury) have each contributed 3 points so far this season.
- Although Ben Bishop’s stats have not been terrible (2.38 GAA .920 SV%), the 3-4-1 record is still concerning.
Aside from the hot starts of Roope Hintz (6 goals and an assist) and Miro Heiskanen (3 goals and 3 assists), Dallas has been by far the biggest disappointment of the season.
The Stars will be playing at home in five of their next six games, beginning with a Thursday night match-up against the Anaheim Ducks.
It is hard to call a team desperate for wins when it is only October, but Dallas will need to get some big victories soon before it is too late.
Cover Photo via: Shaban Athuman/Staff Photographer
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