The Stars are 1-7-1 right now and it stings, I’ll admit that. I’ll try to remain positive in this but here is a live look at me:
Alright, let’s go.
Although tonight’s loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins was tough, the Stars’ gameplay was some of the most cohesive they have been all season. Their puck control was up through the game, through the periods their Corsi For was:
But despite their puck control being on the up, they still lost to the Penguins 2-4. The Stars had 1 goal in the 2nd period and 1 in the third. Even though the Stars dominated in the 3rd period, they still got scored on 3 times.
This isn’t new information.
For example, when the Stars faced Columbus on October 16th, the team scored 1 in the first and 1 in the 3rd. In the first period, the Stars had a 65.85% CF despite being scored on twice in those 20 minutes.
The Stars’ are controlling the puck well enough but they can’t get the puck into the net. Which is, ya know, a key part of hockey.
Whether it is hitting the post of rebounds being stopped, the team’s attempts at getting even keep getting baffled. The Stars had 24 shots on net during their game against the Penguins and some shots were great quality but it either hit the post or got caught on Matt Murray’s pads. The team has reached 1-of-25 on the power play which is a steep fall from last season. Here is the heat map from that game:
We can talk about shots missing all night but one key thing is the Stars’ energy or lack thereof. Now compared to the start of the season, when they looked like floundering fish searching for water, they have woken up a bit. They have their feet under them but the drive they need to get winning is a bit lacking. After the game, Anton Khudobin, Dallas’ goaltender, released his frustration with the start of this season:
Dobby faced 33 shots tonight and only allowed 3 (the Pens had and Empty net goal). There is only so much the Stars’ goaltenders can do from their spot in the crease and it’s left to the rest of the boys to wake up.
One thing that has been having an effect is how much this roster has changed. There have been a number of key additions (like Joe Pavelski) and subtractions (like Mats Zuccarello) and the team had very little time to adjust. We’re hitting the end of an adjustment period though, now its time to wake up (and stop canceling practice, just sayin).
I hate being negative about the teams I love and I’ll stand by this team until the very end. We watched this team battle through to the 2nd round of playoffs last season but now it seems like that drive has zapped from their bones.
What hurts about it is I know that they’re better than this but this start has been rough to watch. Something has to give but we can only wait to see which straw breaks the camels back.
Don’t give up on the Stars though, don’t boo them at games or talk a bunch of shit to them on Twitter. Be a fan and actually care or get out, we don’t need that negativity. Remember: Be Loud, Wear Green, and Go Stars.
Featured Image: Darcy Finley / NHLI via Getty Images