Dallas Stars: Break In November Schedule Arriving At Perfect Time

DALLAS, TX - NOVEMBER 12: Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin (91) looks to pass the puck during the game between the Dallas Stars and the Columbus Blue Jackets on November 12, 2018 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - NOVEMBER 12: Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin (91) looks to pass the puck during the game between the Dallas Stars and the Columbus Blue Jackets on November 12, 2018 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

For the first time in what seems like forever, the Dallas Stars have more than one day off in a crammed November schedule. And, with their current situation, the break could not have arrived at a better time.

No matter what you are doing in life, everyone needs a break at some point. Whether it involves skipping a class in college to sleep in or taking your daily lunch break at work, everyone needs a breather sometimes.

Maybe you look forward to each break you get in life or maybe you simply focus on work and let the breaks fall as they will. But, regardless of where you stand, everyone needs a rest at some point. That includes hockey teams.

Right now, the Dallas Stars are getting their first break in what feels like forever. At the moment, they are 9-7-2 on the season with 20 points. They have played 18 games since they began their 2018-19 regular season on Oct. 4, 2018 (40 days ago). Only two teams (Anaheim and Vancouver) have played more games than them this year.

But in the month of November, the consistency in play has hiked up a notch. The Stars have played seven games through the first 12 days of the month, meaning they are averaging over one game every other day so far.

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The first half of their November slate included four games on the road that included a back-to-back and three home games. They haven’t had a break longer than one day since Oct. 26 and 27, which was used as travel time to kick off a season-long six-game road trip.

To put it plainly, the Dallas Stars have been put through the ringer this month. But this trip through the ringer hasn’t just been due to scheduling.

In addition to the heavy number of games, the Stars have dealt with a lot of travel, lineup changes, and injuries galore. In the first seven games of the month, Dallas had players like Alexander Radulov, Devin Shore, John Klingberg, Marc Methot, Roman Polak, and Stephen Johns missing from the lineup at different points.

Missing out on a fully healthy roster is never easy; but when the injuries pile up on a team still trying to adjust to a new coaching staff and formation, it can seem like a nearly impossible task.

Dallas, however, has taken the challenge at full value. So far, they have stacked up pretty well.

The Stars are 3-2-2 this month, taking down some top NHL teams and staying competitive in just about every game. Even with a battered lineup, they have found a way to make things work.

There have been some flat performances, though, including Monday night’s 2-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Though the Stars had some looks, they couldn’t capitalize on the power play and came up significantly short on the offensive side of the puck. Columbus scored the game winner midway through the third period and Dallas could not find an answer.

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  • Following the rough loss, the Dallas Stars now enter into a three-day break. And though it may not seem like an extensive one, it’s a much-needed breather for Dallas.

    The Stars have been running a marathon over the last two weeks. The road trip heavily tested their durability and consistently put them in challenging spots. Upon returning home, they welcomed some of the best teams in the Western Conference to the AAC and did it while watching their lineup cripple at the hands of injury.

    And yet, they got through it all with a record above .500 and a grip on the first wild card spot in the Western Conference. They are still within striking distance of the top three spots in the division and are watching teams like Chicago and St. Louis sink into the Western Conference cellar.

    But as this most recent stretch of play approached its end, you could tell that the team needed a break. In Monday night’s game against the Blue Jackets, that need reached a tipping point as the Stars lost a close game that really didn’t look close.

    This three-day break will be the team’s longest rest until the first week of December. With 15 games scheduled in the 30 days of this month, the Stars have to use every break to its fullest extent. And, considering their current circumstances, this break is critical.

    The Stars are still banged up. Alexander Radulov, Brett Ritchie, and Roman Polak all returned to the lineup last night and made immediate impacts, but that’s just a fraction of the missing pieces. Dallas is still waiting on the return of Marc Methot (3-5 days before he starts skating) to add another veteran body on defense. Devin Shore should be ready by the early part of next week after sustaining a lower-body injury last night. They could also desperately use the services of John Klingberg and Connor Carrick on the blue line, but both of those players are a while off.

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    This break gives the Dallas Stars a chance to adjust better to life without certain players. When Klingberg left Thursday night’s game, Joel Hanley and Ben Gleason had little time to get ready for Saturday’s game when the Stars took on the best team in the West. The forward group lost one of their most consistent producers in Shore and will now need to figure out how to execute without him. Three days off gives the Stars time to adapt to those sudden developments.

    On top of that, it’s a time for the Stars to breathe. After playing three games in the past five days and five in the past eight, there is a need for some decompression. On top of that, Dallas will play six games in nine days coming out of this break. That’s an insane task to tackle.

    The Stars took Tuesday off from practice and will get back to the action on Wednesday. But, for now, this is a break that is plotted perfectly. Dallas survived a tough stretch through the first part of November and has another heavy push to look forward to in the final 15 days.

    For now, though, it’s time to breathe, adapt, and prepare. The Dallas Stars are sitting in an overstocked field of NHL mediocrity and are trying to find a way to break out before other clubs do. Healing up will help them in accomplishing that, but so will preparing and pushing proper execution regarding their circumstances.

    dark. Next. Stars Defense Must Carry The Load With Klingberg Out

    Breaks are nice for everyone, including hockey players. But this break is perfectly-timed for the Dallas Stars. All that matters now is how they use it.