Brought to you by: Big Shucks
Just 14 games through and we have seen a mixed bag for the Dallas Stars. With a win on Saturday against Buffalo, the Stars are 5-1 at home averaging just over three goals a game. Defense and goaltending are allowing under two goals per home game.
Things change however when they hit the road. The Stars allow an alarming near five goals per game away from the AAC. Offense production drops on the road averaging just over 2.5 goals per game. As a result, the team posts a 3-5 record on the road.
It has been a Jekyll and Hyde start for the Stars. At times, the Stars offense has overpowered teams, Ben Bishop has befuddled offenses and special teams have been difference makers. On the other hand, there are opportunities missed more often away from home ice, goaltending play can become inconsistent and defense still has impactful lapses.
Luckily it is a long season. There is still plenty of time for the team to build better chemistry with the new guys, and getting back on home ice will feel better after a long road trip.
That long road trip started with a game in Colorado. The Stars brought a four-game winning streak against the Avalanche, but obviously Colorado forward Matt Nieto did not care. Nieto recorded a hat trick as the Stars were dropped by the Avs, 5-3. The story to come out of this one was the comments post game.
Ken Hitchcock pulled Ben Bishop in the second period after the Avalanche took a 3-2 lead. Both had something to say about the decision post game. Bishop felt that it was too early to make a move like that with the score still close. Hitch told reporters it was more about shaking the team up than Bishop’s own play. All in all, nothing to abrasive came out of it. Just some awkward banter from each sides of the decision.
Bishop and the Stars did not respond well the following game. Heading to Edmonton for a quick trip around Canada, the Oilers put a five spot on the Stars. The offense stayed right with the Connor McDavid and the Oilers but came up a goal short falling 5-4.
The Stars response came the next two games. First in Calgary, Lehtonen put together his best game of the season. In his second start, the big Finnish goaltender stopped 29 out of 30 shots. Radulov’s third goal, second in as many nights, on the power play gave the Stars the 2-1 advantage. The same continued over into Vancouver. Bishop back in net stopped 38 shots. Yet the Stars could only muster one past Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom on a power-play goal by Tyler Seguin. However, in overtime Radulov struck again for his second game-winner in as many games and third consecutive game with a goal.
The next two games were quintessential to how the season is going so far. The Stars get thrashed on their final road game against he Winnipeg Jets, 5-2. Yet, they completely turn things around overpowering the Sabres back at home, 5-1. There is no question the Stars have been a different team on the road. Fortunately that long 11-day road trip is in the rear view mirror and the Stars can focus on defending their home ice the next two games.
Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
11/6 vs Jets 7:30 p.m.
11/10 vs Islanders 7:30 p.m.