During a NHL regular season, teams are going to have stretches where they play well and get chances and receive bad luck in return: a hot opposing goaltender, a dip in shooting percentage, a run of tough penalty kill luck. But the underlying play is good, so the belief is that results will come if the team just sticks to it.
In a pandemic-shortened season playing only divisional games, the time for that kind of moral victory thinking has come and gone. A run of not getting results means chasing for a playoff spot, which is where the Dallas Stars find themselves. After beating the Chicago Blackhawks 6-1 two days ago, the team allowed four goals on eight shots en route to a 4-2 loss.
I could use this space to describe how it happened, how a team that relies on a system that needs timely scoring continues to not get that, how the forwards have been depleted by both injuries at times (Tyler Seguin, Alexander Radulov, Roope Hintz) as well as terrible scoring slumps by guys expected to provide consistent production (Denis Gurianov). I could also talk about how in a system that is quite often built on razor-thin margins because of that offensive style, an off night from a goaltender can sink the game just as easily as the play in front of the net.
Or, I could just sum up watching Stars hockey right now with one image:
Sums it up pretty succinctly, no?