After a disappointing loss to the Blues in round two of the playoffs last year the Dallas Stars recognized there biggest problem. Offense. It was incredibly inconsistent and when it was consistent it wasn’t the good kind. They ended up losing a double OT game and wasted a 52 save performance from Ben Bishop because they couldn’t score more than 1 goal in 5 periods of play.
The team had a positive response to their failure and went into the offseason with big ambitions. Acquiring a big name in Joe Pavelski would bring hope that the former Sharks captain would bring experience, leadership and most importantly, goal-scoring into the mix. In addition, the team from Dallas understanding hockey requires a full team to be successful didn’t stop with Pavelski. They took another big step and a somewhat risky one and secured Corey Perry. The idea behind getting Perry was relatively the same as Pavelski. He would bring experience and if he returned to his old form as the Stars were hoping, he would bring goal scoring. Yes, the upside is high with these two.
With these new acquisitions entering Dallas and with other big names already there, this squad had cup run written all over them. So what’s the surprise with them early on? They regressed. What’s the problem? Inconsistency. This team has been plagued by it in the past but bringing in Perry and Pavelski was supposed to help bring that consistency through experience and leadership. So far it hasn’t. The fact is they usually have 1 or 2 parts of their squad doing good any one night. That sheds some light on the bigger issue, the other 1-2 parts of the team don’t do well and the Stars end up losing. One night their goaltending may be great but not their offense. Or one night the offense will be good but the goaltending won’t be.
On the topping of goaltending the Stars have been …interesting. Coming into the 2019-20 season there was no reason to think that Ben Bishop wouldn’t have another chance at a Vezina. As I have mentioned before, last year Ben Bishop deserved the Vezina Trophy. Now although he didn’t receive it that mostly had to do with the hype surrounding the Lightning’s 62 win season with Vasilevskiy at the helm. Not to take anything away from Vasilevskiy he performed brilliantly in 2018-19 even so he simply was not as good as Ben.
That thought aside, Ben was seeking the final two pieces in proving himself. A Vezina Trophy and a Stanley Cup Finals victory. So how has he been performing early on? His play as of late has been hit or miss, certainly having flashes of last year, yet some nights performing terribly. The reason for this is unclear, although keep in mind good goaltenders find a way to get back to consistency. The future could hold anything for him though, good or bad.
As for the team as a whole, they need to find some form of consistency. This has to start with coaching and then it can trickle down to the players. The team is a miserable (3-7-1) to start the season and this must change for the green and white if they want any shot at a Stanley Cup.