The Dallas Stars are dead last in the league in several key metrics, so the fact that they even have 10 points is something of a minor miracle. And at this point, it would probably take a miracle for them to get into playoffs position by Thanksgiving.
What that says about a squad that’s supposedly been built to win now is even more troubling.
For his latest article, The Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks examines a veteran team that has found itself “trapped in the mediocre middle” as it nears the quarter pole of the 2021-22 season:
“That’s not good,” [Joe] Pavelski said of the Stars’ lack of regulation wins. “It’s crazy to think that. So, that’s on each and every one of us. We’ve got to find a way to be better. We’ve got to win a 1-0 game, a 2-1 game. We need that mentality.
“We can be a little bit more patient at times. For whatever the reason, there’s nights where it seems like you’re trying to do too much probably. We’ve got to really settle back into our team game and work out of this together.”
Yes, we all remember that brutal 1-7-1 start in 2019 – but how long will it take for them to hit their stride this time?
The organization is in the final season of a window that includes [Rick] Bowness, Pavelski, John Klingberg and Alexander Radulov. The team will have decisions to make behind the bench. The team will have to make choices around the trade deadline. And the current trajectory of the Stars does little to clear either scenario….
There still are 71 games left on the schedule. That’s time for the Stars to find something to build off of that’s not Braden Holtby’s goaltending or a hot power play. Because they play so many tight games, the Stars have shown the propensity for wild swings in results in past years, and they’re searching for the next upward swing.
Matt has more. [SportsDayDFW]
Starting the season on the road is a pretty good excuse – but in the end, it’s an excuse, writes Mike Heika.
“Could you point to a road-heavy schedule to start the year as a challenge? Sure. But when you consider this team has had plenty of rest and has seen its share of backup goalies, that record should be better.”
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) November 8, 2021
Around The Leagues
Nothing to report from the #MurderDeathKill Division last night – but the New York Rangers made news in their defeat of the suddenly almighty Florida Panthers.
Igor Shesterkin made 42 saves and the Rangers held off the Panthers to hand them their first regulation loss of the season, 4-3.
The Panthers’ season-opening point streak ended at 11, one short of their record of 12 set in 1996-97.https://t.co/kx19nhAG10
— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) November 9, 2021
Alex Ovechkin is making history practically every game at this point.
Lost in the shuffle last night with Alex Ovechkin tying Brett Hull for 4th in goals with 741 and getting his 600th assist was that the first of his 3 points moved him ahead of Dave Andreychuk & Denis Savard (1,338) into sole possession of 29th in NHL history in points (now 1,341)
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) November 9, 2021
You thought I’d post that without posting the goal?… (Yes, the Washington Capitals muted this clip – probably because the PxP guy originally credited this apple to Dmitry Orlov.)
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) November 9, 2021
Now that Jack Eichel can have the disc-replacement surgery he’s chosen, he isn’t wasting any time getting it done.
Eichel will have his preferred choice of surgery for his neck injury Friday and is thankful the Golden Knights have been supportive of the procedure he feuded with the Sabres overhttps://t.co/Uzg4b1GYjY
— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) November 9, 2021
Rick Westhead didn’t get to ask any questions during Gary Bettman’s press conference, but he already knows where the stories are.
The mother of a former high school hockey player who was sexually assaulted by Brad Aldrich says she was overcome with emotion watching Kyle Beach apologize to her son and thank him for filing a police complaint.
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) November 9, 2021
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
What are the Texas Stars working on this week? Stephen Meserve shares his notes.
— 100 Degree Hockey (@100degreehockey) November 9, 2021
Yauheni Aksiantsiuk is doing everything he can to keep the Idaho Steelheads in the conversation this season. Enjoy his latest ECHL Play of the Week.
— ECHL (@ECHL) November 8, 2021