After three solid weeks of hockey, the Dallas Stars are starting to look like a familiar team. The urgency and drive that was so apparent last season is finally there again and the Stars are starting to shape up to be the team that everyone was expecting at the start of the season.
Teams of all levels have ups and downs, and professional teams are no exception. After a less than stellar 1-7-1 start to the season and a monumental goal difference in the wrong direction, things are starting to click for the top lines, and especially for the new additions to the team from the past offseason.
After zero goals in his first 7 games as a Star, forward Joe Pavelski has scored two goals in his last four games and might have found his slot alongside the speedy Roope Hintz on the everchanging top-two lines for Dallas. Additionally, Corey Perry had a three-point game in his early stint back from his preseason injury, with an assist and two goals vs the Flyers. Defensemen Andrej Sekera has also started to shape into form with his growing physicality and veteran leadership from the blue line, and has a Plus/Minus rating right at Even (0), which is quite a feat for any defender, especially against the caliber of teams that the Stars have faced beginning the year.
Obviously, the Stars record is sustainably worse than what was expected out of the gate for the team after last season’s playoff finish, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have it in them still. Dallas has already played the last three Stanley Cup Champions from the previous three years, with over half of those games being on away ice. It is one thing to be a true fan of a team and expect a championship season, but have realistic expectations.
In their last two wins, the Stars have held onto 3rd-period leads, which is something that they haven’t done four times already this season. Almost 73% of the teams that they have played this season were playoff teams a year ago. You have to play the cards that you’re dealt sometimes, and that is just how it fell this year.
Teams have bad games and runs, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad teams. Have a little faith in the boys and the bench boss, Jim Montgomery. If you’re pointing out the bad, you have to give credit for the upward trends too.
The season is young. Game on.
Featured Image: NHL.com