When you look at the standings it’s not hard to figure out at first glance where the Dallas Stars have struggled the most in games. Leaving behind chances at increasing their point total, and separation in the central as well as the rest of the western conference. At that same glance it’s not all doom, and gloom for Dallas. Especially when you’re atop your conference.

Among NHL ‘leaders’ in OTLs

After 54 games, the Stars are tied for the league “lead”with 10 losses past regulation. Along with the Calgary Flames, and the Philadelphia Flyers. The San Jose Sharks having the most losses past 60 minutes with 11. Imagine where the Stars would rank in all of the NHL if they won in ot, or the shootout more often. Plus Dallas would have even more of a cushion out west.

While losing that extra points past 60 minutes does not help the Stars for the President’s trophy race (given to the team with the best overall record, currently being held by the Boston Bruins), the good news is they’ve been consistently racking up points in the standings. As the schedule will get more difficult (including hosting Boston this Tuesday, and three games vs the Seattle Kraken), Dallas will be better off finding a way to get that extra goal in ot or the shootout to keep pace for first in their conference.

Shades of 2021

Much like the forgettable 2020-2021 season, the Stars are having trouble finishing games this year. Despite having a winning record, no delayed games leading to a compacted schedule, and a healthier roster. Keeping guys healthy is a big ingredient to solving their overtime, and shootout woes.

Photo credit: Elías Valverde/ Dallas News

Two seasons ago, the Stars missed the playoffs. Currently in 2023 they are first in the central, and the west. The Stars much rather be where they’re at now as opposed to before. This is where the Stars want to turn good news into better news. Especially come the trade deadline where teams jockeying for playoff positioning, or a spot will look to upgrade their rosters.

Still in a playoff spot

While overtime has been a pesky problem for the Stars, it’s important to look at the bigger picture. There’s still plenty of work to do with 28 games left in the regular season, but Dallas is in about as good of a spot that they could ask for. If somebody were to say back in the fall that half way through the season that Dallas would be first overall in their conference, the team would take that every time. It’s a guaranteed playoff spot, and home ice advantage come spring.

Featured photo: Tony Gutierrez/AP

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