After a strong start to the first half of the season, firing on all cylinders in all three phases of the game, the Dallas Stars have since gotten into a slump over the past few weeks. While goalies Jake Oettinger, and Scott Wedgewood have always been solid,the Stars are still losing more than they are winning.
The guys in net have been one of the best goaltending tandems in the NHL. Defense for the most part has been reliable. However it takes a full team effort, and goal scoring to win games.
What happened to that offense?
Over this winless skid, the biggest lowlight has been the lack of goals (and a little bad luck). Falling out of the top five, and top ten in goal scoring in the NHL. The Stars have only scored four goals twice since January 21st.
Even Jason Roberson has since seen his numbers take a dip over the last month in scoring. And this is due to the whole team effort that has overall not been up to par. Certainly not the fault of Robo. As he is still the team’s most consistent player, and leader in scoring.
Fizzling power play
Starting off the year, the Stars were a top five power play unit. As of late, the Stars’ power play has been stalled, minus this goal from Robertson on the man advantage. While the Stars are still a top 10 power play team, that is only because of how well they were firing early on in the year.
fI that red hot power play is to make a comeback, they must continue to feed Robertson. The main talk of the league right now is of course, the NHL trade deadline. Teams are already making moves moves, and others are looking at roster changes by the deadline on March 3rd. The Stars should be looking at guys like
Stars’ GM Jim Nill should be looking at his team’s roster, and look to add a guy who will come in and produce to help Dallas get back to the top of the west. Perhaps acquiring a defenseman like Erik Karlsson, or bringing back a certain offensive defenseman from the Anaheim Ducks on an expiring contract could solve Dallas’ power play woes.
As former coaches Ken Hitchcock, and Jim Montgomery said about team struggles in the past, there are too many passengers. Not enough guys are contributing on the ice especially on offense, and the man advantage. Some of the guys who have struggled this year include Ryan Suter, Joel Kiviranta, Denis Gurianov, and Mason Marchment (despite his hot start to the season). Stars’ head coach Pete DeBoer is at least not too concerned about Marchment.
“It’s not easy, and the guys wear it. They want to score, they want to be a difference maker,” DeBoer said when asked about other players in slumps. “But I think Mason has got a great attitude about it. I think he’s handled it really well. His personality is an upbeat, energetic guy who is fun to be around, so he hasn’t worn it around the dressing room, and that’s the important part to me.”
It’s a long season
First half of the season had Stars fans in good spirits. Then, the inevitable slump came around. Right in time for talk about teams across the league who want to shake up their rosters.
Photo credit: reviewjournal.com
While the Stars are still on a winless streak before they face the Vegas Golden Knights tonight, they will be looking halt their winless skid at five games. The sooner these guys get back in the win column, the better for the team’s confidence.
Featured photo: Tony Gutierrez/AP