The Dallas Stars’ season up to the point before the NHL went on break wasn’t pretty. It was a slogfest into the third seed in the Central Division. In fact, the Stars went into the break caused by the coronavirus pandemic on a six-game losing streak. So it’s a weird feeling if your Dallas. On one hand, you’re in playoff position and if the postseason started today you’d be facing the Colorado Avalanche. On the other hand, a lot of the pieces you brought in this offseason aren’t exactly fitting.
At one point in their careers, Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry ruled the Pacific Division. Both heading toward the twilight of their playing time in the NHL, both Pavelski and Perry aren’t the same players on Dallas. Still, the veterans had been scratching together OK seasons. If nothing else, the Stars are a gritty, experienced squad that sucks to play against — a team that will always be around in the League. That’s mostly due to the blue line, featuring John Klingberg, Miro Heiskanen and Esa Lindell. Oh and a pair of goaltenders who are tough to beat. Let’s see where the Stars are at.
Where do the Dallas Stars stand during the break?
Points: 82 (preseason over/under: 97.5)
Place: 3rd in Central Division (No. 5 overall seed in conference)
Stanley Cup odds (March 10): +1500
As was stated above, the Stars have one of the top defenses in the NHL. They rank second in terms of goals allowed per game at 2.52 and rank 9th in shots allowed at 31.6 per game. Ben Bishop and Anton Khudobin have had interesting seasons so far. Last year, it was Bishop who was having a career season. He finished second in Vezina Trophy voting and had a .934 SV% to lead the NHL. Khudobin was fine as the backup, but has really stepped up in 2019-20. The veteran has a 16-8-4 record with a 2.22 GAA and .930 SV% this season. He’s almost split starts with Bishop due to how well he’s played. If the duo can stay healthy and the season comes back, they may be the only way the Stars have a chance at advancing.
That reason being because Dallas’ offense needs work. The Stars rank 26th in goals per game (2.58) and are 23rd in shots per game (30.6). They aren’t getting nearly enough offense from Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and Alexander Radulov. I mean, to be honest, they aren’t getting enough from anyone. Even with talented young players like Roope Hintz, Denis Gurianov and Heiskanen, the Stars struggle on offense. Pavelski and Perry aren’t the same, but shouldn’t need to play a ton of minutes to be effective in a good offensive system. Both are smart players. The Stars need to figure out the offensive woes or their chances at advancing in the playoffs will be slim. Maybe the time off is just what Dallas needs. Maybe it needed to rethink some decisions from the offseason.