41 down, 41 to go. The Dallas Stars are exactly halfway through the season and it’s time to grade their performance so far. Lots happened in a chaotic first half. At 22-17-2, are they in a good position? It could be better. They are way more talented than what their record is. Lots of things need improving if they want contention for a playoff spot. The second half began with a win against the Boston Bruins. Let’s grade their first-half performance.
The Offense: C
Some players get an A+ on offense. Joe Pavelski, Roope Hintz, and Jason Robertson are the rightful darlings of the Stars fanbase. These three guys are beasts on the ice. This line is putting forth so much effort and it shows. They are top three in points on the team while 11 points ahead of 4th place. The rest of the forwards are way behind. Stars fans’ biggest complaints are with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Each has 17 and 19 points in 41 games, respectively. Benn and Seguin account for 23.8% of the team’s cap hit yet they record a point in less than half of games. Everyone not named Hintz, Pavelski, or Robertson needs to step up their game.
The Defense: C+
Miro Heiskanen is the future of this defensive core. He is 4th on the team in points and the best defenseman. Rumors circulated about a John Klingberg trade. He is last place on the team with a whopping -19 in +/-. The same defense may change in the second half depending on trades. The tall tale sign of a struggling defense is that only 5 players on the entire team have a positive +/-. Ryan Suter is one of those along with the previously mentioned Pavelski line. Jani Hakanpää is another. Klingberg may go to another team soon. Defenders are trying to plug the leaks the offense is giving them. They are not quite a B but they’ll get there.
The Stars would have a losing record without the goaltending. It’s not their fault that the offense and defense withhold support. Braden Holtby’s 9-9-1 record doesn’t reflect how good he is. Both of the goaltenders have a 2.76 GAA or lower. Goalies keep the team in games, especially Jake Oettinger. His 10-4-0 record is awesome. Oettinger is the #1 goalie of the future. Both goalies need help from their teammates. Their stats are elite if they win more games. The goalies are the best thing on the team besides the Pavelski line. They deserve an A-.
Player of the Half: Pavelski A++
Pavelski. That’s all that needs saying. 48 points in 41 games is ridiculous in a good way. The Central Division All-Star Game Captain played every game of the half at age 37. Stars fans are so lucky to watch this guy every game. What a free agent signing he was. He is worth every penny of his $7,000,000 AAV contract and then some. This is his contract year so you would hate to see him go at the trade deadline. If not, ink him to another contract.
The most wasted potential is the offense. The Central Division 3rd place St. Louis Blues are 11 points out. The first half is over so don’t cry over the past spoiled milk, which there is a lot of. It’s time to move forward onto the second half. Every department needs improvement, especially the offense. Here’s to a better second half.
Photo Credit: Dallas Stars Twitter