Dallas Stars: What Does the Play on the Recent Road Trip Tell Us?

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 19: Alexander Radulov
DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 19: Alexander Radulov /

The Dallas Stars are quite the enigma this season. Currently, they are sitting one place outside a playoff spot. Here’s what their recent road trip against the Metropolitan Division tells us moving forward.

The Dallas Stars took on some top teams in the Metropolitan Divison this past week. Those included the New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals. Four of those teams (excluding the Flyers) are currently in a playoff position. And Philly isn’t that far off from a playoff spot.

In those five games, they earned six of a potential ten points. However, they only won twice, and one was a shootout win (against the Rangers). In order to analyze how the Stars performed in depth, it’s important to go through each game specifically. Let’s go in order.

New York Rangers: W (2-1 in a shootout)

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With over 40 shots on goal in this game for the Stars, the Rangers knew they committed a felony when they absconded with a point that night. Rick Nash had tied it late in the game, and after an intense overtime from both teams, the Stars ultimately won in the shootout. However, the Stars clearly outplayed them for the majority of that game. Here, they deserved both points.

New York Islanders: W (5-2)

In what was most likely an attempt to prove they have the ability to dominate, the Stars came out strong in a 5-2 defeat of the New York Islanders. They scored the first five goals of the game, spreading them evenly through all three periods.

This game was definitely a good showcasing of their offensive talent. And this was especially evident because the Stars had four different goal scorers. Kari Lehtonen played very well, earning his 300th career victory.

New Jersey Devils: L (5-2)

This game was the change in their fast pace play. It seemed as though they lost their stride. After going down 1-0 and 2-1, they tied the game both times. However, after that point, the game went downhill for them from there.

Now, this could easily be chalked up to a lack of energy for playing every other day for a while. However, it shows a deeper problem of consistency that’s the reason this Stars’ team is currently on the outside looking in.

Philadelphia Flyers: L (2-1 in overtime)

In a desperation team for both games, it made sense that the scoring was held to a minimum. The Stars jumped out with many shots and strong offense and cashed in on Gemel Smith’s third goal of the season. However, they started to look tired again on the second of thei back-to-back games, and the Flyers took advantage, tying the game at one.

They looked even more sluggish in this game than in the one against the Devils. And, while not as grand a felony as the Rangers committed Monday night, they did barely escape with a point in this game.

Washington Capitals: L (4-3 in overtime)

In short, this was a game the Stars should have won. They played good enough to come out with two points, but it shows a solid effort that they were able to at least manage one against a team that’s 8-2-0 in its last ten games.

They were down 1-0, tied it and went up 2-1. The Capitals tied it at 2 until the Stars regained the lead. With just over three minutes left in the third period, the Capitals tied it once again and won on Andre Burakovsky’s second goal of the night.

Overall Takeaways:

The Stars played good enough to win at least 3 of those five games. However, managing to get six points out of the Metropolitan Divison is a huge accomplishment, considering that’s, by far, the toughest division in the league.

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They seemed to have trouble shutting down key players such as Brian Boyle, Shane Gotisbehere, and Andre Burakovsky. Each of those players scored two goals against them in this stretch. This probably has to do with their less than stellar defense.

If they have one thing to their name, it’s their talented offense. They should put as much emphasis as possible on that, and hopefully, it’ll land them a playoff spot before it’s too late.