It's only been 15 games, but is it time to start sweating the standings?
The Stars have not added to their point total in nine days and have slid to 13th place in the West down near the Flames and the Oilers. Their points percentage has dropped to .533, a pace that would get them 87-88 points and the exact same result three years running of 12th place, most likely. People will say "there's still so much time, why worry about it now?"
The answer is that history has shown us again and again that you have to put points in the bank early to withstand the rigors of the season. Rigors being scoring droughts (Check!), tough road trips (Check!) and injuries (something they should expect given their remarkable run of good luck there this season). Reorganize the standings by points % and the Stars rise to 10th place due to the many struggles of the Blackhawks and the inconsistency of the Avs, both of whom we can expect to get better as the season goes along.
One thing I do know is that if the Stars were doing well, we'd definitely be talking about the standings. It stands to reason we do the same thing when they're doing poorly. Particularly in light of the fact that they are now on a worse pace than last year through this many games.
Here's some reading.
- Good post here by Dirk Hoag of On the Forecheck illustrating the DOMINANCE of the West over the East, something we've been very familiar with here in Dallas. Ten of the Stars sixteen points have come against the East. Consider that Detroit hasn't even played an Eastern Conference team yet and ask yourself how good their 11-3-1 record is. Ouch.
- Mike Heika discusses Ribeiro's drought and the many, many missed opportunities of late for the Stars. [DMN]
- The Toronto Sun takes a different approach on the Mark Cuban rumors, claiming that a "source close to the team..." said so. Sure would be nice if any of this so-called-interest were to lead to some credible reports. [Toronto Sun]
- Chris Conner was always a favorite of mine in his time here and he gets a mention at Pittsburgh Live. He's been giving them minutes this season as the flu went through their locker room.
- A good piece at Dallasstars.com about Stephane Robidas and yet another impressive season for him. (Delay of game penalties aside, no doubt.) [Dallasstars.com]
- A clever bit of protest from the fans in Buffalo. They pass around a team flag up in the 300 section before their games. One section turned the flag upside down! Which is an international signal for "distress." [Puck Daddy]
- If I had to pick the single most troubling stat for the Stars this year, it would be this. 4.0% power play on the road this season.