Sometimes, good teams go on long losing streaks. Maybe it’s due to a string of bad luck, or because of a tough schedule, or maybe they’re battling the injury bug. Whatever the case may be, good teams eventually bounce back from those.
But after an ugly loss to the New York Rangers that saw their streak extend to six, it’s worth asking: are the Dallas Stars a good team?
The flaws in Dallas are clear.
The Stars struggle to score goals — even though they broke shutout streaks both overall and at even-strength on Tuesday. They lean too heavily on defense and goaltending, which can sink a team whose turnovers directly led to four goals on Tuesday. They don’t draw enough penalties, which handcuffs a power play that is their best route to offense.
Two days ago, the theme of Links was that Dallas still more-or-less locked into a playoff spot despite the recent skid. That still mostly holds true, but even Rick Bowness knows that if the Stars don’t figure things out, they’re going to go nowhere fast:
“I don’t know what we’re doing the day of a game, but we’re not preparing ourselves properly, we’re just not. It’s as simple as that. There’s no urgency if you’re not prepared. With 13 games to go, we’re still in a playoff spot, and we can dig ourselves out of this. But if we don’t prepare ourselves properly the day of a game, it’s just not going to work.”
You can read more from Matthew DeFranks here.
For the majority of Tuesday’s loss, it felt like the Stars may never score another goal:
If I still wrote recaps, this would be my working summary:— Erin (@ErinB_DBD) March 11, 2020
They cannot score goals slow or quick
They cannot score them with a stick
They cannot score them from the ice
They cannot score once, twice or thrice
They cannot score them from a hole
They cannot score a goddamned goal
Thankfully, Roope Hintz does what he does best and put the puck into the net early into the third:
Roope gets things going for us with his 19th of the season!#NYRvsDAL | #GoStars pic.twitter.com/VVAfo2wAJb— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) March 11, 2020
Then for good measure, Andrew Cogliano found the back of the next later in the period, preventing it from being a complete embarrassment of a loss:
Cogs pulls us within striking distance!— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) March 11, 2020
: https://t.co/ls6qdxG3Ab#NYRvsDAL | #GoStars pic.twitter.com/JSmj6lu0ls
For those of you keeping tabs at home:
262.53 was the length of the Stars 5 on 5 scoreless drought— Bruce LeVine (@BruceLeVinePuck) March 11, 2020
Still, the Stars ultimately lost, because that’s typically what happens when you go down 4-0. Here’s what Bowness had to say about the game:
"There's no urgency if you're not prepared."— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) March 11, 2020
Bowness talked to the media following the @DallasStars loss to New York on Tuesday ⬇️#GoStars | @FrontierCorp pic.twitter.com/3umlhPQPHm
And here are the players:
"We're going to have to change something. We have to prepare better."— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) March 11, 2020
Jamie Benn, Blake Comeau, and John Klingberg talked about how to bounce back after the @DallasStars 4-2 loss against the Rangers ⬇️ #GoStars pic.twitter.com/dqI2TwXxEM
In the only other Central game of the evening, the Nashville Predators pulled within four points of the Stars thanks to a 4-2 win over Montreal:
.@_RKH80 is back with coverage of the #Preds’ win in Montreal tonight. https://t.co/S4fXijyAgz— On The Forecheck (@OnTheForecheck) March 11, 2020
The Winnipeg Jets are also four points back on Dallas (albeit with an extra game played), due almost solely to the incredible play of Connor Hellebuyck:
Playoffs or not, the Winnipeg Jets' Connor Hellebuyck has to be the frontrunner for the Vezina Trophy@THNJaredClinton with more:https://t.co/w0QJzbhD7n— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) March 11, 2020
Speaking of trophy races, Dominik Kubalik has a very strong case for winning the Calder Trophy:
Here is the story of how Dominik Kubalik went from total unknown — potentially a career European player whom Chicago acquired for a mere fifth round pick — to a star on the Blackhawks' top line. https://t.co/jV1lL3vZZ1— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) March 11, 2020
By now you’ve heard all about how NBC put on an all-female broadcast for an NHL game. Now see what things were like behind the scenes:
Go behind the scenes of NBC’s all-female NHL broadcast with the next generation. | @jprutherfordhttps://t.co/QIlqZlPUV1— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) March 10, 2020
The San Jose Sharks are shutting down their home games for the season due to coronavirus, but the Columbus Blue Jackets will keep going:
All #CBJ scheduled games will go on as scheduled and be open to ticketed fans.— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) March 10, 2020
Full Statement ⤵️ https://t.co/mLN5ImQVlE
Finally, should the NHL change their playoff format? The answer for most is “yes,” but how is the bigger question:
There's now a poll at the end of my "should the NHL expand the playoffs?" story today and I gotta say I'm shocked how few of you want the NHL to reseed the final four teams. https://t.co/Z1SThf8Jwg— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) March 10, 2020