Each 82-game NHL season has its ups and downs. The Dallas Stars have plenty of great moments tacked on to the season including a great chance of making the playoffs. The Stars are now at the halfway mark of the season which is a good time to evaluate their performance so far. Being a top-10 team is critical to the near future success this team hopes to strive for. This team entered the season with high hopes and the question is if they’ve held up to their potential. Both yes and no because they are a team up there in the standings but they are so much better.
7th place in the league is not too shabby. Their 26-12-5 record is only 5 points shy in the Presidents’ Trophy race for the best regular season team in the league. There still is lots of ground to make up in that race and it’s unfortunate that the Winnipeg Jets are a good team too as they lead the division. The 3rd best goal differential belongs to the Stars with a +30. Their worst regulation losing streak is only two games so they are finding ways to put wins on the board. This team is stacked with talent but the scary thing is they’re not playing to their full potential.
Defense and Goaltending: B-
One half of the equation to success is keeping pucks out of the net. The Stars are only the 13th best in that department. Jake Oettinger recently returned from injury. The tandem of Oettinger and Wedgewood are putting up a .905 and .897 save percentage, respectively. They’re not playing badly as both their goals-against-average are 3.03 and below but they can be better. The last line of defense before the goaltender is putting up solid numbers as well. The only defenseman on the team with a negative +/- is Miro Heiskanen with only a -2. Heiskanen also scored 27 points already this season so they’re still playing alright.
Defense wins championships but not without the offense scoring as well. Putting pucks in the net is no problem for this team. Matt Duchene is having as wonderful of a season as we’d hoped. His 14 goals and 39 points are 4th best on the team. The depth of this team is putting up the much-needed numbers they are. 14 players have more than 10 points each and eight players have more than 10 goals each. Jason Robertson is back in form with 45 points in 43 games. The offense is clicking, scoring the 3rd most goals in the league. They’ve only been shut out twice this year. Four games saw seven or more pucks go into the net with three of those being eight-goal games.
The Stars are right on the cusp of greatness. Potential is the Stars’ middle name right now. This is a scary hockey team with lots of hopes for the immediate future. Winning a Stanley Cup is not far off. An A+ across the board will get them there. They can either flirt with destiny or disaster but as of the moment, the Stars are a great hockey team.
Photo Credit: Dallas Stars X