The Dallas Stars tried, they really did. The trouble is, they didn’t try hard enough until the third period, again. Now they’ve dropped another one-point game to an opponent they should have beaten like a drum.
Last night’s 3-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings had its high points, mostly thanks to some nice teamwork on the Roope Hintz and Jason Dickinson goals late in the third period. But there’s been far too much of the same old story, as Stars senior staff writer Mike Heika points out:
They have won four of their past 15 games and are holding onto hope for a playoff spot only because of losses in overtime and shootouts. They struggle to score goals when they dominate 5-on-5 play. They struggle to score goals when the game is on the line and they are on the power play. They struggle to score goals for large portions pretty much every game.
On Thursday, Dallas had a 40-21 advantage in shots on goal against the Red Wings, but only cracked the net in the third period, including an extra skater goal with 1:20 left in regulation. Three of their past five goals have come with the goalie pulled in frantic situations. And while that’s not the worst trick in the world, they can’t continue to play like this.
COVID concerns, weather delays, and other external factors have added to the team’s general enervation. But trying and failing to shake themselves out of their current pattern appears to be taking a toll as well:
The frustration is such that it can affect how the Stars play. After all, this team is 26 games into the 56-game schedule and they seem to be repeating the same storyline over and over. That can’t be just coincidence, right?
“It’s always frustrating when I think you play pretty good hockey and you keep finding ways to lose,” said center Radek Faksa. “We keep finding ways to lose games, and we don’t know the reason. We’ll keep playing hard and hopefully it will turn out.”
There’s more at Mike’s place. [Dallas Stars]
The Stars need more offense, but does their system support it?
Rick Bowness: "Not trying to fix the forecheck, or this, or that. That's not the issue. How we're playing as a team is not the issue. The issue is getting that puck in the net."@ATT | #GoStars pic.twitter.com/cOGXESsPUZ— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) March 19, 2021
Matthew DeFranks brought an interesting stat to last night’s pregame.
Tonight is the first time since Dec. 2019 that any Stars goalie made four straight starts. Then, it was Ben Bishop. Tonight, it's Jake Oettinger.— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) March 18, 2021
And because somehow there’s always a silver lining with this team, Jake Oettinger chose this week to make his debut on NHL.com’s top 25 fantasy-goalie list.
Around The Leagues
Bring Me The #Disco King
- Seth Jones scored twice as the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime. [The Cannon]
- Andrei Vasilevskiy won his 10th consecutive start as the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-2. [Raw Charge]
- And Calle Järnkrok netted two goals of his own to lead the Nashville Predators to a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers. [On The Forecheck]
The Stars’ odds actually look pretty crummy, so...yay?
Sabres front-runners for first overall this year, whoever that turns out to be. pic.twitter.com/Skm5cvDQxU— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) March 19, 2021
It’s never too early to start looking at upcoming draft classes, and this BioSteel All-American will feature yet another Hughes brother.
Luke Hughes and Matthew Coronato, A-rated prospects for the 2021 NHL Draft, are among the 44 players invited to play in the 2021 BioSteel All-American Game on April 7. https://t.co/TeoTgCDUfk— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) March 18, 2021
And it’s never too early to speculate about postseason awards, especially if it gets you those Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews Google hits.
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
Neil Graham wants to solve the T-Stars’ own 60-minute-hockey issues during their week off.
"The good news is it's the entire group...that needs to clean up some of these decisions and if we do that, we can be a very dangerous team."— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) March 18, 2021
- Head Coach Neil Graham on finding consistency with 8 days of rest before the #txstars his the ice again against Cleveland. pic.twitter.com/rjQiziDv1d
Today’s big news from Stars Land – are you going?