Dallas Stars Daily Links: For Dallas’ Top Line, The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

Will Roope Hintz’s luck change sooner rather than later? Matthew DeFranks examines the stats. Plus, spotlight on Ryan Suter, fallout from the Kevin Cheveldayoff hearing, and more.

The Dallas Stars finally have Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz and Joe Pavelski back together again. And the stats show that they’ve picked up right where they left off: creating scoring chances, dominating possession, and generally being awesome.

So why aren’t they scoring? The answer may lie in that mysterious metric #fancystats gurus call PDO and fans call “puck luck.”

The Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks finds that the Stars’ vaunted top line is earning every bit of the regard it receives. The one thing they haven’t earned so far is even-strength goals commensurate with their effort:

Pavelski: “They’re coming. That’s what we keep telling each other, at least. I think they’ll come.”

In limited game action, the line is again one of the best in the NHL. Among lines that have played at least 20 minutes together at 5 on 5, Hintz-Robertson-Pavelski ranks second in the league in expected goals for per 60 minutes (5.31) and fifth in expected goal share (80%), according to MoneyPuck....

As the Stars have struggled to score at even-strength, with just seven 5-on-5 goals in the first eight games, the return of last season’s best line is welcome. It’s not surprising that Dallas has submitted their two best games — in terms of scoring chances for — in the last two games that Robertson-Hintz-Pavelski have been together.

One player in particular is due for a change:

Both MoneyPuck and Natural Stat Trick’s expected goals models view Hintz as the most unlucky player in the league so far. According to MoneyPuck, Hintz has scored 2.7 goals below expected; Natural Stat Trick, 2.38 goals below expected. Both are the lowest in the league.

“Lots of chances every game, but haven’t got it in yet,” Hintz said. “I just can’t get frustrated, I have to another way to put it in and go from there.”

Matt has more. [SportsDayDFW]

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