Dallas Stars: Four Things We Learned In November 2018

CALGARY, AB - NOVEMBER 28: Dallas Stars Center Tyler Seguin (91) and teammates celebrate their 4-3 overtime win following an NHL game where the Calgary Flames hosted the Dallas Stars on November 28, 2018, at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, AB. (Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CALGARY, AB - NOVEMBER 28: Dallas Stars Center Tyler Seguin (91) and teammates celebrate their 4-3 overtime win following an NHL game where the Calgary Flames hosted the Dallas Stars on November 28, 2018, at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, AB. (Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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3. Offense Could Still Use A Consistent Spark

It doesn’t seem like that long ago that the Dallas Stars owned the highest-scoring offense in the NHL. They were high-powered, throttled the opposition with 3+ goals per night, and didn’t let anyone get close to them in the average goals column throughout the year.

That was 2015-16, which also happened to be the season that the Dallas Stars won the Central division and Western Conference regular season titles. Oh, how the times have changed.

Following an injury-ridden 2016-17 season that saw Dallas tumble to the conference cellar and head coach Lindy Ruff relieved of duties, the 2017-18 season sent the Stars into a shift. Ken Hitchcock was hired as the new head coach, bringing with him a defensive style and mindset that this young and developing Stars team had never witnessed before.

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  • It somewhat paid off as the Stars went from 29th to seventh in the league in goals against average. But, in return for their improved defensive play, the offense suffered. Dallas finished 18th in average goals per game with 2.82 and lost many games down the stretch due to a lack of offensive pressure. As a result, Hitchcock stepped down from the head coach position shortly after the season ended.

    Going into the 2018-19 year, that lack of offensive power was supposed to disappear. With a healthy lineup, newly-added depth forwards, and a head coach that thrived on possession time and offensive relentlessness, the Dallas Stars seemed to be set up for a big turnaround.

    So far, they have yet to hit that stride. And, though partially due to injuries and inconsistencies with the lineup, the month of November saw a lack of consistent offense at times.

    At the moment, the Stars average 2.74 goals for per game. That’s good enough for 24th in the NHL, pinning them in the bottom eight. They averaged an impressive 3.09 goals per game in the month of October, but sank to a mark of 2.53 throughout the month of November.

    Part of the offensive problem is the lack of Klingberg in the lineup, considering he usually generates a handful of chances with each shift. But it also simply has to do with consistency.

    In an eight-game span in the second half of the month, the Stars only scored more than two goals on two separate occasions. Both of those occasions saw them score six goals, which was impressive, but the other six games were less impressive. In the other six, the Stars scored one goal four times, two goals once, and were shutout one time as well.

    It’s a four-line problem, with the Dallas Stars needing all 12 forwards to stay involved with each passing game. On some nights, the top line delivers while the depth scorers are off; on other nights, it’s the depth forwards that do all of the heavy lifting.

    Either way, the Stars spent November trying to adopt some consistency on offense. Let’s see if they can find it in time for a December push.