Hockey is booming in North Texas with the Dallas Stars skating deep into the win column. Tuesday night raised the bar with a 4-1 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins to jump the Stars’ record to 4-0-1, good enough for 2nd in the division. A 4-0-1 start is nothing to look down on. The Stars are 4th in the NHL in points percentage behind three still-perfect teams as of the conclusion of the Stars game Tuesday night. All players are dominating play along with Jake Oettinger’s 38-save performance in the game against the Penguins. Now the looks turn to the schedule down the line to see if this hot start can continue.
Nine players have multiple points to start these five games at the beginning of the season. Joe Pavelski yet again is defying age, leading the way with six points in those five games. Pavelski, Benn, Johnston, and Hintz all have multiple goals as well. Thomas Harley is a noticeable presence on the ice as he leads the team with a whopping +6 in the +/- department. The Stars are 4th in the league with a 55% win percentage on faceoffs. This correlates with the three players that average 1 point per game or more are primarily centers.
Over half the forwards have a goal in the first five games. The big problem two years ago was the lack of depth scoring from the Stars. Two big names surging forward are Jamie Benn and Wyatt Johnston. The long-time Stars captain is now 34 years old having spent his entire career for the Stars. He is 2nd in most of the franchise offensive categories. His new resurgence as a veteran NHLer is a huge presence on the ice. On the opposite side of the age spectrum is Wyatt Johnston. Fans will remember his massive series-winning goal in Game 7 against the Kraken last year. “Baby” Wyatt scored five points in five games already this season with a promising future up ahead.
Most NHL teams are not going far without a solid anchor tending the goal. Jake Oettinger is hoisting the topsails and battening down the hatches behind the team. Only allowing six goals in his four games is roofing his numbers to a 1.44 GAA and .952 save percentage. Scott Wedgewood also has a win even though he allowed four goals on 40 shots. Most of those goals came staggeringly on the power play as the Stars allowed three shorthanded goals from the Flyers, 2 on the same one. The Stars have a goal differential of +5 but allowed the 4th fewest goals in the league. It’s always said that the best offense is a good defense.
The Stars are clicking away with a perfect regulation record. Only time will tell but so far this team is good and their 4-0-1 record shows it. There are still 77 games left on the schedule. Playoffs are far away but this team has the potential for a great season.
Photo Credit: Dallas Stars X