While there were some obvious positives and glaring negatives through the first month for Dallas, there were also some “middle ground” aspects of their play. In other words, there were certain parts that weren’t bad, but could still be improved upon.
Let’s take a look at some of the in-betweens of October.
The Power Play
Now, let’s start this off by pointing out that the Dallas Stars own one of the better power plays in the NHL. Through October, they owned the seventh-best PP group with a 26.5 percent success rate. That’s great.
But the part that wasn’t so great was their inconsistency. After starting out strong in the first five games with a 46.6 percent success rate, Dallas slumped in the final six games, going 2/19 (10.5 percent). The problem there is that it happened during the Stars’ biggest losing skid of the month.
With the power play weapons that the Stars possess, it was difficult to see them miss out on critical opportunities and end up losing in games where a power play goal or two could have made the difference.
The power play is 0/4 so far through November, so this could be something to watch. Dallas has the weapons and proved early on that they have one of the best man advantages, but they have gone quiet recently.
Processing Monty’s Style
The Dallas Stars are currently in the middle of a transition period to a new era of hockey.
With the hiring of Jim Montgomery during the offseason, the Stars once again shifted their mindset and style of play. And through the first month, the transition looked decent.
The Stars had some impressively bright spots in the early portion of their regular season, winning three out of four. In those wins, they dominated on offense, played with composure on defense, and played with a relentless style overall.
But in their losses, they looked stale and somewhat confused in their effort. That must be fixed, and it should be in due time.
Through the first month, the Dallas Stars looked like a team potentially in store for big things. That is thanks in large part to Montgomery and the direction he is taking the team.
Central Division action
This is the smallest sampling size of all, but is still something to watch. The Dallas Stars went 1-1-0 in divisional play during the month of October. They blew out the Winnipeg Jets 5-1 in their second game of the year, but went flat in a 3-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild midway through the month.
The consistency will have to be there eventually, but it’s a decent divisional start for Dallas. The divisional games will become tougher with each passing week and the race will become tighter, so the Stars will need to be on their A-game.
The Dallas Stars showed a lot of good things as well as some things that could be improved in their first month. As the year goes along, we’ll see what else we can add to this list and which parts might shift around.
All in all, it was an interesting first month. Let’s get it rolling in month two.