It’s insane to think that the Dallas Stars only have 15 games left in this season. It feels like just yesterday we were talking about the first games but now the season is 3/4 over.
This stretch of 15 games is going to be the most important for the Stars season. Currently, the Stars are 4th in the Central division and fighting to keep the top Wild Card spot. Let’s talk about some things the Stars need to do to keep themselves in playoffs.
In this season overall, the Stars are 29th in the league with goals for. They have 167 goals for with the LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks behind them. Scoring goals is a problem that has been talked about all season.
Since the All-Star Break, the Stars have been 10-6-1, which is great for the second half. But the problem is that Stars have 41 goals since then while they have 42 goals against them. It’s going to be crucial that the Stars produce more goals. Only Jamie Benn (27) and Tyler Seguin (24) have at least 20 goals on the season and only 5 players have at least 10 goals.
Since the trade deadline, the Stars have continued this pattern. In these 4 games the Stars have 110 shots on goal but only 10 have squeaked past the opposing goalies. On the flip side, the Stars have faced 136 shots and only allowed 8. The production needs to pick up in order to give the Stars a safer resting place in these last 15 games. When Mats Zuccarello returns, he is going to be to be important for the Stars offense but until then it is up to the healthy line up to keep scoring.
Relying On Goalies
The amount of saves the Stars’ goalies have to face each night is insane. Since the All-Star break, Ben Bishop and Anton Khudobin have faced a total of 585 shots on goal. Khudobin has faced 348 of those 585, in 3 games in a row Dobby saved 40+ shots. The team is relying heavily on their goaltenders and it is not fair to them.
The team is 16th in the league with shots against at 2,094 for the whole season. It’s middle of the pack but it’s significant when the Stars are also 25th in shots for. The team is passing more than it is shooting and on these passes they create turnovers giving the opposition a chance to score. Taking more shots and protecting the pucks from these deadly turnovers is going to be key in the next 15 games.
Both relying on the goalie too much and scoring goals are tied for this team. Getting more shots on the opposing goalies is step one for the Stars. Once they start taking more shots, a number are bound to slip through giving the goalies more space to work with.
When the players start pushing and producing goals, the team in general, feels better and that creates more wins and more points in the standings. This is what the Stars need to keep themselves within precious playoff contention.
Featured Image: Dilip Vishwanat, AP