Not going to lie, it was not an ideal first week to the regular season for the Dallas Stars.
Key players like Blake Comeau and Roman Polak both sustained fluke injuries on Opening Night against the Boston Bruins, Corey Perry still wasn’t ready to return to the ice after breaking his foot late in the offseason and the massive summer free agency signing Joe Pavelski has more penalty minutes than shots on goal. There is plenty of time left, but it takes more than a day to right the ship, especially to get to the ‘Ship.
Through the first week of the season, the Stars just look sloppy. Other than standout performances from team-leading goal scorer Roope Hintz and the reigning NHL All-Star defensemen Miro Heiskanen, it’s not pretty.
Dumb penalties, unnecessary turnovers, defensive face-off loses and slow first period starts rarely make for a winning formula. To be good in any league, especially the National Hockey League, you have to be good at the little things.
Ben Bishop isn’t as sharp as he was at the end of last season, Alexander Radulov and John Klingberg seem to be racing to see who can compile the most penalty minutes and Radek Faksa is currently at a -7 Plus/Minus rate. Again, not ideal.
You can’t expect to help your team win if you can’t keep the first shots of the game out of the back of your net, you can’t make a positive impact on the game if you’re in the penalty box and you can’t blow two straight games on the road and expect to be able to hold teams during the playoffs in the same situation. There were a lot of expectations for the Stars this season, but I think it’s safe to say that the honeymoon faze might already be over.
The season isn’t over yet, not by a long shot, but you have to simplify the game and do the core basics right to have any success. Avoid penalties, don’t be predictable on offense and help the helper.
When it is all said in done, just do your job. Everyone knows that the Stars are built for the playoffs, but if you can’t get there, what does it matter?
Featured Image: ABC Detroit