So you really want to know how bad the Dallas Stars is this season. Well Bob Sturm has got you covered.
The fill-in color guy and resident hockey nerd on The Ticket (and occasional guest of the DBD podcast, much to our everlasting gratitude) wrote an article about the floundering man advantage for Fox Sports Southwest on Wednesday, putting the team's issues in historical context.
How bad is that, you ask? Hold on to your hats. Since 1970, only the 1973 expansion New York Islanders and the 1974 New York Islanders have scored fewer power play goals in a season than the Dallas Stars 33 power play tallies this season. The 1998 Tampa Bay Lightning also had 33, but beyond that, every team in every season played in the last 42 years in the NHL has scored more than 33 power play goals.
Now with his numbers, the biggest surprise to me was that Jamie Benn isn't shorted nearly as much power play time as I thought (he averages 2:15 per game to Mike Ribeiro's 2:50, and you'd think he'd be facing the second unit penalty kill). The biggest difference is probably in the defensive players, honestly.
After the jump, more on tonight's game against the Nashville Predators, Mike Heika answers your questions about who coaches the power play and the playoff deathwatch is officially on.
- About that power play: Further in this paywalled story, Mike Heika answers the question so many have asked - who coaches the PP unit. Apparently, Glen Gulutzan coaches the Benn unit while Willie Desjardins coaches the Ribeiro unit. Maybe what we really need is more whiteboard. [DallasNews.com]
- I'm not among the school that is calling for the trade of Brenden Morrow or the stripping of the captaincy because I'm not sure either move would solve anything. But Todd over at the Thursday Morning Cupcheck lays out a well-reasoned argument about the leadership in the room, which starts with Morrow, being a problem. [Thursday Morning Cupcheck]
- For a guy that hardly ever gets out to a Stars game, Jean-Jacques Taylor sure feels like he has the right to call out the team in a fairly incendiary way. What really makes me roll my eyes about it is it's incredibly token recounting of the game with a lot of shock-jock adjectives but very little actual expert opinion or commentary that shows he understands the problems. And to be clear - the Stars definitely deserve to be criticized. But this article, at least to me, provides no insight. [ESPN Dallas]
- The Texas Brahmas (who I desperately want to call the Fort Worth Brahmas because I'm getting old) took a 2-1 series lead over the Allen Americans in Wednesday's Game 3. [DallasNews.com]
- The Stars are not quite dead in the playoff race, though they certainly are in grave condition. [ESPN Dallas]
- In fact, the condition is so dire they officially showed up on Puck Daddy's playoff death watch for the first time [Puck Daddy]
- At least the Stars aren't going to end up on this list of the worst underperforming teams in relation to their salary cap numbers. [Forbes]
- Marty Turco's time with the Boston Bruins is coming to an end. [Big Bad Blog]
- Meet the enemy, part the first: Pekka Rinne missed Tuesday's game with an illness, and although he was at Wednesday's practice and pronounced himself healthy, whether or not he'll play tonight is unclear. [The Tennessean]
- Meet the enemy, part the second: Barry Trotz is the only coach in Predators history, and our friends over at On The Forecheck wonder if this might be his best season yet. [On The Forecheck]
- Around the Pacific Division: Could Drew Doughty save the Stars season? Well the Stars have to help themselves, something they haven't done a lot of recently, but it seems like the Los Angeles Kings defenseman is rooting for them. [Puck Daddy]
- Steve Ott once made a joke about being all of 150 pounds on his draft day. This vintage picture shows he wasn't kidding. I know I recognize the guy on the right, too. I don't think it's a young Dan Jancevski, but that's the name that keeps popping to mind. Help me out here. [@otter2nine]
- Oh Stars practice. I'll miss you when this season's over.