The Dallas Stars are through the First 48 Games of the 2018-2019 season, so let’s take a second to step back and review this season so far.
For the wild ride that the Stars have been having this season, the boys are holding it together pretty well. In the First 48 Games, the Stars are 23-21-4 while falling back to the first wild card seat in the Central Division. The Stars have felt the woes of injuries and media comments but the team has kept their heads held high and stood by one another throughout. The hardest part is that the Stars record does not reflect the heart this team has been showing this season.
To start the season, the Stars’ players were learning the process under new Head Coach Jim Montgomery. Montgomery entered the locker room with an air of new beginnings and positivity. For the month of October, the Stars went 6-5-0, scoring 34 goals while being scored on 30 times. The team was running on a high, moving with confidence.
Moving into November, the Stars began to battle a long list of injuries. By November 15th, the Stars had four of their top defenseman on the Injured Reserve (IR). The Stars were able to battle through, pulling out a 7-5-3 with 38 goals for and a whopping 40 goals against. As the weather began to turn cold, so did the Stars’ hot streak. The road troubles that have plagued the Stars’ for seasons on end returned once more. The Stars dropped six of the 10 road games they played in November, setting a rough tone into the last month of the year.
December started off well enough, with the Stars winning the first three in a row before losing another four in a row. After the Christmas Break, the Stars were sitting at the 2nd Wild Card spot, holding 39 points.
The team was coming off a 2-0 shutout against the Nashville Predators, reveling in the win, until CEO Jim Lites made comments to the media regarding Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin in a public rant [warning: quite a few explicit words in this one] that did more harm to the team than “light a fire under them” as some had hoped it would. Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin responded in a more professional tone. Tyler Seguin said (via Dallas Sports Day):
“It came as a bit of a surprise. I said it yesterday at practice. I understand I need to be better. Jamie understands he needs to be better. We need this team to be better, the organization to be better. I think everyone is frustrated over the last few years, and it came out yesterday.”
The NHLPA released a statement regarding Lites’ comments and the matter was laid to rest quickly after that. The Stars finished out their December quietly, pulling a record of 7-6-1 with 36 goals for and 36 goals against.
A new year doesn’t always mean things are going to turn around right away. To start off 2019, the Stars are 3-5-0 with 14 goals for and 20 goals against. The team has began to look at the roster and move things around, even trading Devin Shore to the Anaheim Ducks for Andrew Cogliano. On the horizon, there is no doubt going to be some more trades, seeing as more scouts are being seen at games. But with where the Stars are and where they want to be, building up this team is a positive.
Since it's that time of year:
The Senators, Capitals, and Ducks are scouting the Stars-Kings game this evening.
— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) January 18, 2019
Featured Image: Twitter Stats From: Hockey Reference