The Dallas Stars began their final regular-season road trip in pretty much the worst possible way. Jake Oettinger got chased by the Vancouver Canucks – the Vancouver Canucks! – and the team put their postseason path in jeopardy by failing to consolidate a lead for the first Western Conference wildcard spot.
So, in other words, a typical Monday. The Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks took a look at the direct damage, and lack of it, in his recap:
“It was very disappointing,” Stars forward Michael Raffl said. “I think it was mostly our puck management and decisions with the puck in high-danger areas along the blue lines. They were way better than we were in those areas. That pretty much cost us the hockey game tonight.”
But by virtue of the Golden Knights’ 3-2 loss to the Devils on Monday night, Vegas’ postseason hopes took a massive hit. Vancouver would need to be almost perfect to bully their way in.
The Canucks, however, have won six in a row and concluded a three-game season sweep over the Stars on Monday night.
But DeFranks also teased out the glaring trend in the team’s season overall – their tendency to play up, or down, to their opposition:
They’ve gone on lengthy win streaks and extended losing streaks. They’ve beaten good teams and lost to bad ones. They’ve been both terrible and incredible on the road. They are 29-28 in regulation this season, and have a minus-6 goal differential.
The Stars have made the middle their home. Some nights, their game elevates. Some nights, it tumbles.
Can the Stars still make it back to the road that leads through the much less strenuous Pacific Division? Matt has more. [SportsDayDFW]
Saad Yousuf examines why the Stars are struggling to score the way they need to.
Stars have struggled to produce offense consistently. There are many reasons for that but I took a deep dive into the team’s system and philosophy.— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) February 13, 2022
Examining the Stars’ offensive system: What works, what doesn’t and how it compares to the NHL’s elite https://t.co/guFvqSGSZF
Meanwhile, in the future, Wyatt Johnston is a pretty big deal.
Congrats Wyatt Johnston!@DallasStars prospect claims the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy as #OHL Top Scorer, recording 124 points to lead @SpitsHockey to a West Division title.— OntarioHockeyLeague (@OHLHockey) April 18, 2022
DETAILS : https://t.co/g7HK7xL6mN pic.twitter.com/jlT9sAyaxT
Want a demonstration? Of course you do.
#OHL Top Scorer Wyatt Johnston logged 42 multi-point peformances, leading all players with 1.82 points-per-game. He becomes the first @SpitsHockey player to earn the Eddie Powers Trophy since Taylor Hall in 2009-10 pic.twitter.com/1W2wUN8Wen— OntarioHockeyLeague (@OHLHockey) April 18, 2022
Around The Leagues
- The Chicago Blackhawks lost another at home – this time to the Calgary Flames, 5-2. [Second City Hockey]
- The Colorado Avalanche’s winning streak ended at nine with a 3-2 loss to the Washington Capitals. [Mile High Hockey]
- And the Arizona Coyotes, on a streak of their own, dropped their seventh in a row to the Carolina Hurricanes, 5-3. [Five For Howling]
And would you look at this.
The highest-scoring weekend in NHL history concluded with 153 goals (102 Saturday, 51 Sunday) and boosted the goals-per-game rate to 6.3 on the season. It's been 26 years since a season ended with a scoring rate that high (6.3 G/GP in 1995-96).#NHLStats: https://t.co/Nx7m9gNV5o pic.twitter.com/4zz9ELx0yX— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 18, 2022
So NHL teams are scoring a lot, and consistently. Do the Stars know about it...?
"Some teams are unplayable."— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) April 19, 2022
"Not a lot of defensive detail in those young guys."
Why is goal-scoring booming in the NHL this season? @kristen_shilton and I asked players, coaches and execs and got some wild theories. Enjoy! https://t.co/1b32I4L3FB
Speaking of players who score a lot, is Filip Forsberg really about to go to market?
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
The Dallas Stars have recalled forward Yauheni Aksiantsiuk from the Idaho Steelheads and reassigned him to Texas. We have also recalled goaltender Matt Jurusik and defenseman Max Martin from the Steelheads.— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) April 18, 2022
Jason Robertson is so ding-dang wholesome that it’s easy to forget he’s 6’3 and hits like a tank. You forget this at your cost.