Depth scoring is the backbone of any NHL team’s lineup.
While top-line players receive significant attention, the entire roster needs to contribute to scoring.
Top-line players only make up about 1/3 of the ice time for a team. The depth is out there for about 2/3 of the time.
The Stars experienced a remarkable improvement in depth scoring during the previous season (2022-2023) compared to the 2021-2022 season, mainly due to the resurgence of Jamie Benn, propelling them to the Western Conference Final.
As they head into the new season, Stars fans are hopeful for an even better performance, and the role of depth scoring is crucial in shaping that future.
2021-22 vs. 2022-23
The top line of Joe Pavelski, Roope Hintz, and Jason Robertson accounted for 44% of the Stars’ goals in 2021-2022. The top line should produce high numbers as they did, but depth scoring suffered that year. In 2022-2023 the top line’s contribution decreased to 39%, indicating a more balanced attack with multiple players from the lower lines stepping up their game.
This shows that the team’s overall depth improved, allowing them to rely less heavily on the top line for scoring.
Benn is Back
Jamie Benn finished second on the team in scoring with 33 goals and 78 points in 82 games. As the team captain, Benn’s leadership played a significant role in leading the Stars to the Western Conference Final.
Despite a minor setback with a 2-game suspension after a mistake in Game 3, Benn’s offensive contribution was invaluable and showcased a level of performance not seen from him in several years. If he continues this form, the Stars can expect even more exceptional results.
New Kids on the Block
The biggest surprise on the Stars last year was the debut of Wyatt Johnston. Johnston stormed onto the scene with 24 goals in 82 games as a rookie. He did all that as a teenager, so imagine what he can do in his sophomore season. He scored the series-winning goal in Game 7 against the Seattle Kraken.
Wyatt Johnston will provide much-needed depth scoring to a lineup looking to score some goals. New addition Matt Duchene is a sleeper hit to an already stacked lineup. Duchene’s unique skill set makes him a potent goal scorer, adding depth to the roster and increasing the team’s scoring options.
No team is complete without depth scoring. The bottom 3 lines are important like the top line is.
The balanced contribution of players from different lines, coupled with the resurgence of seasoned players like Jamie Benn and the emergence of rising stars like Wyatt Johnston, ensures a promising future for the Stars.
As they embark on their journey towards the Stanley Cup, the entire lineup, from top to bottom, must work together to achieve their goals.
Photo: Dallas Stars/X