The Dallas Stars have continued to state that they’ve played well enough to win, but just aren’t getting the luck of late. While that could bring some mirage of positivity, the fact remains that the Stars aren’t winning enough to dig themselves into the playoff race. Playing the Florida Panthers on the second half of a back-to-back today, the team lost to collect just four points on this five-game home stand, going 1-2-2 and continuing to struggle to find ways to collect the extra point past regulation.
With a three-goal first period, the Florida Panthers didn’t even let the Stars get to that point today, though.
“You have heard me say many times that we have played a lot better than our record, and we have,” head coach Rick Bowness said after the game. “Tonight, was one of the few games that I will sit here and say that we didn’t deserve to win that game, and that has only happened a couple of times after the number of games that we have played.”
Jason Robertson actually started off the scoring today, marking yet another strong outing with his newly-formed linemates of Joe Pavelski and Roope Hintz. They cracked Chris Driedger on the power play early on. It was one of the only bright spots in an otherwise terribly flat first period for the team.
While usually scoring first would be a harbinger of success, for the 2021 Dallas Stars it’s barely better than a coin toss: the team is 9-4-3 when scoring first, ranking 25th in the league in that category (0.563 winning percentage).
The best teams? They win 90 percent of the games they score first in.
While the Stars established a better game in the second period and had some good looks in the third, it was too little, too late. Once again, the Stars were unable to find the finishing touch they need at key moments in the game. It’s something that seems to be a consistent problem for several years running now.
Though fans are looking at the standings and see that the Stars wasted a chance to gain ground with one of their games in hand over those in front of them today with a loss, the players and coaching staff aren’t as worried about playoff standings right now.
“We don’t feel like it’s slipping away at all,” Blake Comeau said. “We are playing all the teams that we are chasing, and there are a lot of points to be had that’s left in the season. Obviously, we have to correct things pretty quick here, but none of us in that room think that we are down and out. I still feel like we are a very confident group. We just have to go out there and play with that confidence. Like I said, we have a lot of games against teams that we are chasing and there is going to be big swings, and we still feel like we are right there.”
Kicking off the road trip with two outings versus the Nashville Predators will give us a lot of indication of whether the team can do just that — or if they’ll be sitting on the sidelines sooner than they think as the schedule continues to come fast and furious.