Through two weeks of the 2019-2020 regular season, the Dallas Stars are in a hole. They are under .500, have one of the lowest Goals For Per Game and Shots Per Game averages, and based on this season’s expectations, are the most underachieving team in the National Hockey League so far.
As a whole, this team needs to turn it around, but it starts with the play of every individual on the team.
After a breakout season two years ago, John Klingberg has slipped back into hiding. Through 7 games, the Swede leads the team in Shots on Goal (SOG) and Penalty Minutes (PIM), and has a Plus/Minus rating of -5, the second-worst on the team.
Though he leads the team in SOG, he has no goals and isn’t producing in the assist category either, with only one tallied so far.
The Stars’ slow start doesn’t fall on Klingberg’s shoulders, but his stat line and game impact aren’t helping to avoid losses. In years past, he has capitalized on his scoring chances from the defensive point and been critical in puck movement on whatever line he was on for that given night, but so far this year, things aren’t coming as easy and clicking that quickly.
Sometimes less is more. At times, #3 looks to be forcing it on the ice and other times he seems to be uninterested.
Undoubtedly, you have to have that happy medium to be successful.
In the Stars’ early-season woes and in John Klingberg’s slow start, you have to gut it out and get back to what has made you successful in the past. In a few weeks, this slow start could be miles behind this team, but if it isn’t turned around in a hurry, this season could be over quicker than it started.
With their upcoming game schedule in the next four weeks packed with playoff teams from the past two seasons like the Pittsburgh Penguins (twice), Colorado Avalanche (twice) and the Winnipeg Jets, the road doesn’t get any easier for the team or the Dallas defense in particular, in facing teams that know how to score quickly and efficiently.
Time is ticking away and major roster moves could be made to try to straighten the course of the season if the Stars keep trending downward, and Klingberg could fall victim to potential near-future trade opportunities.
Klinger wants to stay in Dallas, but sooner or later, it might not be his decision.
Featured Image: The Athletic