How Do You Solve the Dallas Stars’ Consistency Problem?

The Dallas Stars’ offensive production has been, quite frankly, nonexistent. This team is committed to dumping the puck into the offensive zone and chasing it rather than carrying it in. This can be boring and frustrating to watch especially considering the talented puck movers this team has. Miro Heiskanen, Roope Hintz, John Klingberg, and Tyler Seguin are all more than capable of skating the puck into the offensive zone and making plays from there. Denis Gurianov possesses impressive speed that he can use on the wings to carry the puck in effectively. The five-on-five production has been dismal, and the Stars have only won in overtime and the shootout this season. Klingberg offered some valuable insight into why the Stars are struggling in this way after the loss in Columbus.

“We haven’t been creating a lot to start the year and previous years too… I think it comes down to controlling the puck during long stretches. You control the changes and do all that, you’re going to have a lot more energy and you’re going to play with the puck. A lot of times you give it away and you chase the puck. If you keep it within the team it’s not always going to be a perfect play but if you dump it and you go change, they’re going to have possession of it. So maybe bring it back, keep it within the team, and I think you’re going to see yourself over a couple of minutes within that time you’re going to play a lot more with the puck because you’re controlling the game. I think it’s got to come down a little bit, have poise with the puck, make plays when it’s there, and try to control the possession game.”

– John Klingberg

Klingberg’s honesty is refreshing. He outlines how the “dump and chase” style of play results in not only lost possession but unnecessary energy expenditure. If the players find a way to carry the puck in and make passes, then that takes less effort than going to the corners every single time in the offensive zone to dig the puck out and then make plays to try and score. While those skills are highly necessary and useful, it does not need to happen every time especially when there are better options. If the Stars can start controlling their offensive zone entries more, then they can find better passes. If that can happen, there can be more shots on goal and subsequent better plays to try to make the puck go in the net.

They have not put together a full sixty-minute game and the lack of effort was very noticeable when they were in Columbus on October 25. Head coach Rick Bowness called a timeout in the second period to give them an explicit-laden speech that essentially asked them where the fight was.

Lack of line consistency can also make production halt and even the effort look less noticeable. Perhaps when Blake Comeau and especially Jason Robertson make their returns to the lineup, the team will find consistency and chemistry to generate offense and show their known character as the pesky Stars. The Dallas Stars return home to the American Airlines Center for the next two games, facing the Vegas Golden Knights on October 27.  

It must also be said that this report from Columbus was horrible to see.

This behavior is abhorrent. It has no place in society and it has no place in hockey. Hopefully the person was identified and will face proper repercussions. Our hearts and prayers go out to Elvis Merzlikins and all of Matiss Kivlenieks’ loved ones.

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