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Chasing Was the Name of the Game This Year

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Dave Tippett was fond of suggesting many times late in the year that the Stars were 'chasing the game'.

OK, that might be a tad harsh to suggest that he was fond of using it. More like a simple assessment.

Really simple.

How simple?

Well, I decided to get my stats brain going this morning, went to NHL.com and pulled up the Team stats for various Leading/Trailing situations.

As you might expect, Dallas hasn't fared that well in games where they've entered the first or second intermission behind on the scoreboard. Even in this post-lockout era, it's still hard to come from behind in the third period.

Dallas has won a respectable 10 games when trailing after the first period, good for a .294 winning percentage and 14th in the NHL amongst teams who find themselves in that situation. The problem is, they lead the NHL in number of times they've looked up at the scoreboard after the horn at the end of the first period and found themselves trailing. A mark which currently stands at 34 games.

It makes the fact they've only been behind 26 times after two periods also respectable. BTW, Toronto and Atlanta are tied for the number of games they've found themselves behind after two periods at 38 games a piece.

And looking at the bigger picture, Dallas fell to as low as four games under .500 at 7-11-4 after a 6-2 drubbing against San Jose on the day after Thanksgiving and didn't climb above the .500 mark until they hammered Toronto just before Christmas in their 33rd game of the year.

No, the Stars haven't just been chasing in a lot of games this year. They fell behind at the beginning and have been chasing the entire year. Give them credit for being able to get over the hump in January and climb as high as fifth in the standings.

But since then, we've seen the toll that starting slowly this season and in games has taken on them as they've basically free falled for the last month and a half.