Over the next few weeks, as we continue to countdown the impact players for this season as well as take a closer look at the top prospects in the Dallas Stars system, we're going to break down all of the challenges facing new coach Glen Gulutzan as he heads into this season. With the Dallas Stars coming off a third straight season without a postseason appearance, the pressure is on to show progress this season while the Stars continue to build for the future.
It's not going to be an easy task. Despite the Dallas Stars coming just a point shy of sneaking into the playoffs last year, there were numerous areas of concern that any knowledgeable Stars fan knew would eventually catch up to them. The lack of an effective power play and a woefully average penalty kill, as well as continued issues in the faceoff circle, were areas of weakness the team was able to overcome for most of the first half of the season.
Yet as the pressure mounted and adversity grew out of injuries and other factors, the Stars lost the ability to get past the team's shortcomings and struggled in the biggest games of the season. Untimely penalties, allowing late goals and an inability to score when the team needed it most led to a second-half collapse that sent Marc Crawford packing and the Stars embracing a brand new approach just a few months later.
The Stars have added a significant amount of players to help the overall depth of the team and to hopefully improve on several of the areas that the team struggled with so much last season. Despite barely missing the playoffs, a team doesn't fall all the way from the top of the division to 9th in the conference without doing multiple things wrong. We can say it was injuries but the reality is that the injuries suffered only highlighted the numerous shortcomings that haunted this team as a hole.
So what would you say is your biggest area of concern for next season? Despite the coaching change and the addition of several exciting players, there's no doubt there is going to be some struggles this year. Which are are you most concerned about?