I got to thinking earlier tonight about Goal Differential. The Stars currently have a negative goal differential which has been bugging me. So, I made a list. Since the lockout 8 teams have gone to postseason play with a negative goal differential. The list:
2009/10: Ottawa [-13] (5th East), Montreal [-6] (#8 East)
2008/09: NY Rangers [-8] (#7 East), Columbus [-4] (#7 West)
2007/08: Boston [-10] (#8 East)
2006/07: Tampa [-8] (#7 East)
2005/06: Montreal [-4] (#7 East), Tampa [-8] (#8 East)
What do these teams have in common? I'm not completely sure yet, but so far I'm fairly certainly that the common thread is a severe lack of depth and bad goaltending. I haven't finished looking at the teams yet though. What is definitely common are the results. All of the aforementioned teams got bounced in the 1st round of the playoffs except the 2010 Canadiens who had far and away the best goaltending of the teams mentioned. The Rangers goaltending in 2008/09 is the only group even remotely close to that Canadiens team.
You may also notice the seedings for these teams. Outside of the 2009/10 Ottawa Senators, all of the teams were either in 7th or 8th place. 7th/8th place teams are supposed to lose because they generally aren't very good. Teams with low goal differentials are expected to lose because they generally aren't very good.
The Stars currently have a -3 goal differential, problems with depth, little defensive production, and goaltending not close to the level of that Canadiens team. They'll be in trouble if they make the playoffs, but the ride will definitely be fun.
On a related note: Skrastins, Niskanen, and Fistric have been incredibly mediocre this year.
In 146 games this year this trio put up a sparkling .7 GVT. Yes, POINT SEVEN. Together they put up a meh 3.5 DGVT, and a whopping -2.8 OGVT. Please stop making Mark Fistric play offense. He and Niskanen are both in the top 30 most worthless defensemen offensively. Just stop.
To illustrate the point further: Alex Goligoski has a 1.2 GVT in 3 games. Philip Larsen has a .5 GVT in 6 games. In 9 combined games (before tonight) this fantastic duo has contributed twice as much as the magnificent trio above contributed in 146 games.
Thus concludes fun with numbers I noticed at 1 AM in the morning.