Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin are fantastic, aren’t they?
During Dallas’ first 15 games, Benn and Seguin have combined to score 16 goals and accumulated 30 points.
The concern, though, begins when you realize the rest of the Stars roster has 26 goals - 21 if you take out the five scored by linemate Alexander Radulov.
To compound the issue of secondary scoring is that the entire team is being scored on - often, and with vigor. Only five players on the roster today are not a minus - Radek Faksa, Esa Lindell, Stephen Johns, Gemel Smith, and Tyler Pitlick.
So, what can be done to solve this issue?
For starters, Martin Hanzal needs to show he’s worth the three-year, $14.25 million deal he signed with Dallas in the offseason.
Hanzal, who has missed the past couple of games with an upper body injury, has just one point (an empty net goal) and is a minus-10 on the season.
The line of Hanzal, Mattias Janmark and Devin Shore early in the season looked like it could develop into a great contrast to the Benn-Seguin-Radulov offensive onslaught. They have the right mix of speed (Shore), size (Hanzal) and smarts (Janmark) to play a full 200-foot game. However, inconsistent play and injuries has caused head coach Ken Hitchcock to break up that trio.
Another area that could help mitigate some offensive woes would be more offense from the blueline. John Klingberg and Esa Lindell lead Dallas’ defensive corps with three goals each. Stephen Johns and Dan Hamhuis have the other three.
Dallas does not have the talent of an Erik Karlsson, Drew Doughty or PK Subban on the blueline. The closest thing they have to an offensive-minded defenseman is Julius Honka, who was sent packing to the AHL’s Texas Stars near the end of the last road trip.
The lack of offensive depth is evident when the scoring, and shots, are broken down by period.
According to Hockey Reference, Dallas has outscored their opponents 30-25 in the first two periods, and have outshot their opponents 352-301. However, Dallas has been outscored 18-11 in the third period, and outshot 144-122.
Is that drop off a direct correlation to the lack of scoring offensive depth? Perhaps. It could also show that Dallas is more easily shutdown in the last frame of contests to date.
With Hanzal and Brett Ritchie out for the foreseeable future, where does Dallas go from here?
Dallas recalled Jason Dickinson from Cedar Park to replace Honka. Dickinson scored seven goals in nine games with the Texas Stars before the call up. He hasn’t sparked anything immediately upon his arrival, but as last night’s game progressed, he seemed to get more comfortable and more aggressive on offense.
Maybe he can be the sparkplug Dallas needs to get their bottom nine rolling before they fall off the pace too far to catch up.