Going into the season, people knew something had to give when it came to the Dallas Stars.
The Stars have an extremely talented offense, a solid defensive corps, and an above average goaltender in Ben Bishop. Despite having all of these things, the team missed the playoffs last season.
With new head coach Jim Montgomery behind the bench, people figured that the team would get off to a great start and be the club they were meant to be. Boy, were these people wrong as the team got off to a horrendous start.
In fact, things were so bad that the team’s CEO Jim Lites, lit into the team back in late December. He basically told The Athletic’s Sean Shapiro said that the team’s top two players, Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, had been awful (that’s putting it lightly) and that something needed to change in a hurry.
Don’t look now, but the Stars are back on the right track. As of this writing, the Stars are third in the Central Division with 63 points, which actually puts them just eight points behind the second place Nashville Predators.
Part of the reason for their turnaround has been their play in their last ten games. In these ten games, the team is 6-3-1 and have beaten clubs such as the Predators, Minnesota Wild, Arizona Coyotes, Florida Panthers, Winnipeg Jets, and Buffalo Sabres.
In these wins, the team has gotten timely offense, terrific defensive play and goaltending, and have beaten teams that are either in a playoff spot or are just out of one. Simply put, they are getting two points and are doing what they can to separate themselves from the two Wild Card spots.
Secondly, Tyler Seguin is playing a heckuva lot better now than he was earlier in the season. While the team does have some secondary scoring, it is the play of Seguin that drives the team’s offense.
Seguin, who got off to a terrible start and is back to doing what he does best and that’s producing. As of this writing, Seguin leads the team in scoring with 54 points on 24 goals and 30 assists.
While that point total at this point in the season is quite low for Seguin, it’s nice that Seguin is heating up at the right time for his hockey club. In his last five games, he has seven points (four goals and three assists) and in order for the team to solidify a playoff spot, they will need him to continue playing this way.
Lastly, the team is getting solid goaltending from Ben Bishop. Bishop is currently 19-12-2 with a 2.30 goals-against average, a .924 save percentage and three shutouts.
The truth of the matter is that when it comes to Bishop, he is one of the best goalies in the game when he is healthy. Luckily for both him and the rest of the team, he has been healthy this year and if this team wants to get into the postseason and have success in them, they will need Bishop between the pipes.
There is still well over a month left in the season, but if the Stars can continue to play this way, there will be a postseason deep in the heart of Texas come April.
Photo: Sporting News