Hockeymetrics: By The Numbers

via www.myhockeyshots.com

In spite of the Stars recent 10-0-1 run, I'm leading off this edition of By The Numbers with a pair of negative stats that I believe explain why the Stars were able to go on the run that they did and why they've crashed and burned these last time nights.

12-21-2 - The Stars record when the opponent scores first, giving them a winning percentage of .333.

Not surprisingly, Pittsburgh leads the NHL with a .500 winning percentage when trailing after the first period. In fact, Pittsburgh and St. Louis are the only two teams to have winning records in regulation (that is, if you throw out their OT and shootout losses) in these games.

Truth be told, that's not that bad when compared to the rest of the league as the Stars sit 12th in that category.

But this next stat is...

2-20-2 - The Stars record when trailing after the first period, giving them a winning percentage of .083. Which is dead last in the NHL.

Not sure I need to add anything. But I will mention that Pittsburgh also leads this category with a 9-11-1 mark.

And if you need any other statistical proof...

0-8-0 - The Stars record when allowing the opposition to open the scoring within the first five minutes of the game.

Wednesday and Friday nights also represented the first time all year that the Stars had allowed at least one goal in the opening five minutes in consecutive games.

But let's forget stats for just a second. Because I don't think anybody really needs them to see that the Stars, as pesky as they are, just aren't very good at coming from behind to win games when they have to chase almost the entire game.

Sure, they have shown an ability to ramp their game back up and get back in it like they did back in December when San Jose took an early 2-0 lead within the first 1:22 of the game.

That night in Silicon Valley, Mike Riberio and Brenden Morrow were able to get the game tied back up by the 6:30 mark of the second period only to see Ryan Clowe and Brad Winchester restore the Sharks' two goal advantage almost immediately after. Dallas went on to lose that night 5-2.

Which dovetails into another point I want to make.

The Stars haven't just lost these games. They've lost all eight games by three goals.

I suppose you could make the argument that this shows how soft the underbelly of the Stars blue line corps is. But truth be told, any blue line unit in the NHL gets stretched thin when a team is forced to come from behind by multiple goals.

To me, the lack of offensive depth on this team hurts them the most in situations like this. Because like we saw on Friday night, they generated a boat load of chances in the second period against Chicago.

Pot one home in the 2nd and perhaps you start the third without feeling the need to mindlessly turn the puck over in the middle of the ice in your own zone.

Anyway, I don't mean to belabor the point. On to some more positive stats after the jump.

0 - The number of times the Ducks and Stars went to OT in their season series. It's something that can't be said of the Stars season series against either of the other three Pacific Division rivals this season.

And in looking back on the excellent stat feature that the Stars have on their official site, the only other time since the lockout the Stars went through an entire season series against a Pacific Division rival without going to OT in any game was in the 2007-08 season when Dallas and Phoenix completed all eight games of their season series without having to go beyond the regulation 60 minutes to decide a game.

Speaking of zeroes...

0 - The number of power plays the Stars have enjoyed over the last two games.

If we were like some Detroit Red Wing fans, we'd don the tin foil and claim this is proof of a league-wide conspiracy against the Stars.

I don't think it is. It's just an unusual anomaly.

One I'm sure Glen Gulutzan won't mind using Tuesday night in an effort to get some calls to go the Stars way, mind you.

2 - The number of times the Ducks were blanked by the Stars in the season series.

12 - The game number that represents the last point in the season when the Stars were in plus territory in goal differential in games within the Western Conference before last Tuesday against Vancouver when their 5-2 win put them at +2.

That win also represented the first time in...

1491 - Days between the Stars beating the Canucks in consecutive games. Again, thanks to the record vs teams stat feature on the official Stars home page for this find.

Back in the 2008 season, the Stars beat Vancouver twice within an eight day span. On January 29th in Vancouver, Steve Ott netted the game winner in a 4-3 Dallas win. Then on February 5th in Dallas, Brenden Morrow's shootout goal proved to be the game winner in a 3-2 contest.

And speaking of timespans involving long days...

5,824 - Days between visits to Winnipeg. Before Wednesday's game at the MTS Centre, the Stars last played in the Province of Manitoba back on April 3, 1996 and lost that game 3-1. During the ensuing summer, the original carnation of the Jets moved to Phoenix and became the Coyotes.

2 - The number of 30-plus goal seasons Michael Ryder had put together before netting his 30th goal Saturday night on the empty netter that salted the game away against the Ducks. It represented the first time since the 2006-07 campaign that Ryder had hit the 30 goal mark in season.

Both times Ryder scored 30 in a season, he did so in a Habs jersey. Suffice to say, his signing last summer has already paid dividends beyond what Joe Nieuwendyk probably imagined.

12 - The number of games it had been since the Stars surrendered a power play goal against while one man down until Andrew Ladd scored 13 seconds into a 5-on-4 power play for Winnipeg after one of Stephane Robidas' new sticks launched the puck over the glass for a delay of game penalty in the 2nd period of Wednesday's 5-2 loss.

The only power play goal against during that timespan was scored back on February 24th at home against Minnesota when the Stars were down two men in a third period with...questionable officiating.

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