2. Injuries Can Sting, But Stars Are Fighting Through
Injuries are a common theme in professional sports. They are unplanned and cannot be avoided no matter how much teams may try. All they can do is be prepared to deal with them.
In years past, the Dallas Stars have done a decent job at handling injuries. Rarely have they had to deal with numerous long-term issues at the same time and they have typically had reserves ready to fill the voids.
But, at other times, they have struggled. Take March of 2018 for example.
When starting goaltender Ben Bishop was hindered by a lower-body injury early in the month, Dallas turned to backup Kari Lehtonen to fill the void. As a result, the Stars hit an 0-6-2 skid and fell from the playoff picture entirely. It was an unfortunate set of events that sent the entire team into disarray.
And through the first few weeks of the 2018-19 regular season, it looked as though the Dallas Stars were in store for another tall task. With players like Alexander Radulov, Devin Shore, John Klingberg, Connor Carrick, Marc Methot, and Ben Bishop all missing different parts of the season, it was up to the Stars to adapt or fall out.
But, on top of adapting to a new coaching philosophy and style of play, the Stars are finding a way to manage. Younger players are stepping up, free agent signings from the 2018 summer are doing their part, and the team is finding a way to gel with each other and turn it into results.
Dallas turned in a 7-5-3 record through the month of November. They picked up valuable points thanks in large part to a rotation of timely goals, shutdown defensive play, and strong goaltending. And though the injuries have held them back from taking the “next step” at times, they are keeping themselves in the middle of the fight.
That chemistry and determination can get teams far in this league, especially when they are fully healthy. As the Stars continue getting closer to that level of full health, their fight through adversity will only help them in the long run.