The Dallas Stars defense has been littered with inconsistency and questioning over the past few seasons. But as of late, they seem to be finding a groove. If they can keep it up, the blue line could be a strength for the Stars before we know it.
When you think of the Dallas Stars defense, what comes to mind?
“Inconsistency. Will they ever figure it out? #FreeHonka. Good God, is Jamie Oleksiak gone yet? Why was signing Sergei Gonchar Jim Nill’s first big move as GM? Is there a chance they can get Alex Goligoski back? Gosh, the blue line doesn’t look like it will ever be capable of winning a Stanley Cup.
Chances are you’ve thought one of these thoughts at one point or another. You might even be thinking one or more of them right now. And you have every right to.
Over the past few seasons, the Dallas Stars have dealt with two lingering problems: their goaltending and their defense. While the team has worked extensively in trying to solve the issues in the crease by bringing in new goaltenders and trying different balances, the defense has remained a constant worry.
This season, however, things seem to finally be looking up for the Stars blue line.
Now, let me follow that statement up by saying that the Dallas Stars defense could still use some fixing. There are still some kinks that need to be worked out before the Dallas defense is ready to take on the brutes of the NHL. The Stars are currently allowing 2.87 goals against per game, putting them at 17th best in the NHL. This means that they are in the bottom half of the league, so there is still plenty of room for improvement.
Blackout Dallas With the 18th pick in the NHL Draft The Dallas Stars Select
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But they are establishing something that hasn’t been visible in a while: hope. The Dallas defense finally seems to be coming around and figuring things out.
It’s been a long trek. After all, the Stars’ defense have been in the bottom five in terms of goals against in two of the past three seasons. There have been plenty of downs defensively in the Stars’ recent stretch, and they have truly contributed to their inability to take “the next step.” There were glimpses of promise in the 2015-16 defensive group, but it was blown up in the 2016 summer.
Young players have been a staple in the Dallas defense over the past few years, and that has provided another obstacle. Trying to teach the youth and hit a consistent note proved tough and near impossible while the Stars defense developed.
But the necessary development is starting to pay them back, though in small dividends. Still, the Dallas defense is showing signs of confidence and consistency, especially over the past few games.
Ever since the Stars waived Patrik Nemeth in October and traded Jamie Oleksiak a few weeks ago, their defensive numbers have been precise and decent. With a limited lineup, they are working with what they have, and all three pairings are chipping in.
As we mentioned earlier, there are still some kinks, but it’s okay. It’s a learning process, but the defense is having more “on” nights than “off.”
Let’s take a look at the Dallas Stars’ three pairings and just how well they are doing for the team at the moment.