Last summer, the Dallas Stars completed one of the biggest trades in franchise history acquiring Tyler Seguin from the Boston Bruins in a seven player swap. While the trade had risk for the Stars, adding Seguin to the mix worked out as well as, if not better, than many Stars fans had hoped for. Seguin seemed to adjust seamlessly to a new city, team, coach and system, finishing fourth in the league in scoring with 84 points. Of those 84 points, Seguin finished fifth in the league with 37 goals.
For the upcoming season, coach Lindy Ruff will continue to pair Seguin with new BFF Jamie Benn, and it appears that Ales Hemsky, who is a great passer, will be on the other wing. Putting a very good set up man next to two pure shooters could lead to the possibility that both Seguin and Benn could surpass last season’s offensive production.
Which leads to the question, can Seguin score 50 goals?
No doubt it is a tall order to say the least. Alex Ovechkin was the only 50+ goal scorer last season, and over the last four full NHL seasons only four players have accomplished the feat. That doesn’t mean that Seguin can’t do it. If you are looking for reasons why he could, his line mates are a good place to start. It usually takes more time for players to build chemistry with their line mates than what it took Benn and Seguin to click last season. Another season with Benn means that Seguin will be more comfortable with each other on the ice. Putting a very good set up man on the wing to compliment the shooters should in theory lead to Seguin (and Benn) being placed in better shooting positions, leading to more opportunities for goals.
In addition to that, the Stars now have more offensive options and better scoring depth than last season. While I’m sure on most nights the opposition will still roll out their best to stop the top Stars line, opponents will no longer be able to stack everything against one line for Dallas. This leads to the possibility that the Seguin line could see some easier matchups as opponents shuffle to keep up with the Jason Spezza line.
However, that additional scoring depth is a double edged sword for why Seguin won’t hit 50 goals. Seguin, almost out of necessity, led the Dallas offense with 19:21 of average time on the ice last season. While Ruff deserves a lot of credit for rolling four lines regularly, Seguin was on the ice more than any other Stars forward because he was arguably their best offensive threat. Going back to the new scoring depth, it seems logical to think that Seguin’s ice time will decrease slightly as he won’t have to carry such a huge offensive responsibility.
The possibility exists that Seguin could score 50 goals for Dallas, after all he does have the talent. Despite that, scoring 50 goals in a modern NHL season is a very tough challenge. Potentially playing alongside a better set up man this season, I do expect Seguin to flirt with 40 goals. To see an additional 13 goals at the end of the season would be an incredible feat, and while unlikely, I don’t think any Stars fans would have a problem with it if he did.
What do you think?
As always I welcome your comments. Thanks for reading and GO STARS!