By Martin Iheke
It has gone from bad to worse for your Dallas Stars as they continue to struggle to win games at home. They have now lost seven in a row and there does not seem to be any answers as to why they cannot close games out especially in the third period. One prime example was last Saturday evening at home against the San Jose Sharks when the Stars took a 3-1 into the third period before the Sharks preceded to score four unanswered goals to win, 5-3. The Stars wasted a terrific night from forward Tyler Seguin who scored a natural hat trick. That should have been the story of the game, but the team’s inability to protect leads in the third period reared it is ugly head again.
“It’s extremely frustrating,” Stars forward Jason Spezza said. “I’m not sure why we can’t finish games out when we play well,” as he continued. Stars defenseman Trevor Daley did not offer any answers either. “If I knew that I’d probably be in Vegas right now placing bets,” Daley said. “I wish I had the answer for that. We need to get better. We’re not getting the job done and it’s a tough go right now,” as he continued. In all three home games this week, the Stars have given up a total of seven goals in the third period and it is not like they have been grossly outplayed. Against the Los Angeles Kings last Tuesday night, the game was tied at 1-1 going into the third before the Kings scored two in a 3-1 loss. Then last Thursday night, the Stars battled back from a 2-0 deficit against the Nashville Predators to tie the game only to give back a goal to the Predators in the third in a 3-2 loss. And now after enjoying a 3-1 lead against the Sharks, the third period ghosts showed up again to spook the Stars.
“This is painful,” Stars head coach Lindy Ruff said. “I’ve never gone through anything like this,” as he continued. The Stars have lost seven straight and are now in last place in the Central Division with a 4-6-4 record. They are now one point out of last place in the Western Conference and three points out of last in the entire NHL. You have to wonder if this team can get it turned around because the pressure is mounting with every loss. The players do not have any answers as to why they continue to give games away. Are they pressing too hard? Are they thinking too much? I do not know. Right now, they have to figure this thing out or they may fall so far down the drain that they will not be able to pull themselves out.
“I’m there to support them,” Ruff said. “That’s a hurting group in there. They have a lot of try and care. There’s a lot of frustration, emotion and I have to be the one that supports them,” as he continued. No doubt the coach will, but the question now is when will they pull out of this? We are early in the month of November and not March so they can definitely turn this around. Last season, the Stars had a six-game losing streak in January but managed to pull it together to make the playoffs for the first time in six years. This year’s team is better talent wise and is having a similar funk compared to last year’s one but a lot earlier so it is not impossible for them to bounce back and make the playoffs.
The Stars will try to end this seven-game losing streak when they travel to play at the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night then travel to Los Angeles to play the Kings on Thursday night. The Stars will return home to play a Saturday matinee against the Minnesota Wild before going back out on the road to play the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night.
11/11 @Coyotes 8:00 pm
11/13 @Kings 9:30 pm
11/15 vs Wild 1:00 pm
11/16 @Blackhawks 6:00 pm