Through two weeks of the 2019-2020 regular season, the Dallas Stars were in a hole.
They were 1-7-1, had one of the lowest Goals For Per Game and Shots Per Game averages, and based on this season’s expectations, were one of the most underachieving teams in the National Hockey League but thanks to stringing together two separate winning streaks, the Stars are back to .500. As a whole, the team needed to turn it around and did, but that started with individual play, with some impacting more than others.
After a breakout season two years ago, John Klingberg has slipped back into hiding. Through 18 games, the Swede has the second-highest penalty minute total on the team and has a Plus/Minus rating of -10, the worst on the team. Even though he already has over 35 shots on goal and has spent a significant amount of time handling the puck, he only has one goal and three assists so far this year.
The Stars’ less than ideal start doesn’t fall on Klingberg’s shoulders, but his stat line and game impact aren’t helping to avoid losses and get wins. 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. After dealing with different injuries in the past and going through another run of the same nos, you have to wonder when we will see the old Klinger again. Also, you have to think that the newly-engaged defensemen has had other things on his mind these last few months.
As silly as it seems, there is a Harvard study that shows that professional athletes perform better after marriage when they hit a more stable constant routine. See it for yourself.
To be successful, the Stars need all the help they can get. John Klingberg has always been a part of that algorithm, but now he has to play like it.
Featured Image: Dallas Morning News