Dallas Stars In Make It Or Break It Mode From Here On Out

The Dallas Stars have dug themselves yet another impossible hole without proving that they know how to dig out of it.

Last night’s loss to the Bruins further solidified something that we’ve known for a while: the Dallas Stars are struggling and struggling hard. Despite playing one of the best first periods we’ve seen from them in a while, they allowed a heroic comeback from the Bruins and gave up the third period completely.

Does anyone smell a metaphor for their current position this season? It seems just recently that everything has gone to hell in a handbasket, and although the solution- winning- seems simple, the Stars can’t get at it to save their lives.

Hitchcock has expressed his desire to see the Stars’ depth players chip in at this point in the season. And while it’s true that some of the Stars’ top players (looking at you, Tyler Seguin) have been tearing up the season like they can make it to playoffs off their own merit, others have not been as in the game.

So the real problem for Dallas seems not to lie in the quietness of the depth or the subsequent quietness of any top players. Instead, it seems that the lazy take-turns mentality is running their season into the ground.

Let me explain. Early in the season, it seemed depth was all the Stars had. Before Tyler Seguin really got going, the bottom lines were holding the Stars up and making them proud.

But then, as it happens, the depth got tired. Things like that tend to happen when you’re shouldering the weight of the team on your own. We’re all only human after all, right?

But of course, perfect time for the top players to chip in. And now that the active ones have worn themselves down to the point of missing the mark, it’s the depth’s turn to take over again.

Clearly, there’s gotta be a better way. The Stars have utilized that ideology well at times (say, in terms of goaltending), but it’s obviously not been their friend lately.

The best answer is that all forwards should be contributing at the same time so no one gets too tired to be counted out, but it’s hard to forget that we don’t live in that perfect world.

Twitter and everywhere else has argued and debated the Jamie Benn phenomenon this season.  I’m not going to pop up with the answer, but I will use it as possible proof to the point that changing coaches, changing systems, is hard. Some players take to it with ease, and some don’t.

We’ve had another one of those on again off again seasons. Because it’s been less on again off again than ones before it, it was exciting to imagine that the Stars were cured, made over, and the best version of themselves.

The real story is that clearly they’ve still got a long ways to go. They need to find a way to engage all the moving parts of their game at the same time. They need to find ways to reach inside their motivation and pull out a win, even during loss streaks and bad days and especially when each point lost pushes them further and further from the postseason.