The pros and cons of the recent Dallas Stars road trip

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 24: Alexander Radulov #47 and Jacob Peterson #40 of the Dallas Stars celebrate after a goal by Peterson against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on January 24, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 24: Alexander Radulov #47 and Jacob Peterson #40 of the Dallas Stars celebrate after a goal by Peterson against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on January 24, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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The team just finished up a three-game road trip and in classic Dallas Stars fashion, every game was unique. Let’s break down what went well and what needs improvement from each game.

Colorado Avalanche

Went Well: Jake Oettinger, the power play

Needs Improvement: Starting a game on time

The Stars were coming off of a 4-0 loss to the Avalanche in the AAC two days prior. Everything was pointing to another resounding loss especially since Colorado hadn’t lost in regulation since October 26, but the Dallas Streak Killers struck again.

Jake Oettinger was phenomenal and is the primary reason they won. He stopped 46 of 47 shots from the top team in the league. Unlike Sunday’s game, they converted on two power play opportunities which helped carry them to success.

But they didn’t register a shot on goal till 11 minutes into the game. Oettinger’s strength in goal saved them, but they need to have energy from the beginning of the game.

Chicago Blackhawks

Went Well: The 2017 Draft Class

Needs Improvement: Burying the puck

Jake Oettinger once again stole the game for the Stars with his second career shutout performance. Even more importantly, he held strong during the shootout which was a weakness during his rookie season. Oettinger’s continued development is proving huge for the team’s success.

Miro Heiskanen is the backbone of the defense and made several of his characteristic elite stick plays, including successfully defending a two-on-one during overtime. Jason Robertson was able to bury one during the shootout.

Jacob Peterson won the game with the slick move that he brought back from the El Paso preseason game. Every member of the 2017 draft class contributed in a big way, which is becoming the norm for the Stars.

In general, the Stars need to get better at getting the puck in the net. But you have to tip your hat to Marc-Andre Fleury who played well, making a particularly acrobatic save on Roope Hintz.

Arizona Coyotes

Went Well: Nothing

Needs Improvement: Win games you are supposed to win

No handing out brownie points. After the loss to the Coyotes, Jason Robertson called this road trip “disappointing.” He’s right.

The margin of error should be viewed as nonexistent from the Stars’ perspective. Losses against teams like Arizona have the potential to bite the Stars later on as they’re currently fighting for the second wildcard spot.

The Stars are getting points on the road but relying on elite goaltending is not sustainable. As exciting as Oettinger is, he should not have to carry them to the playoffs. And it feels like something we know all too well given the reliance on Ben Bishop in the past.

This team has the talent to defend, enough talent to score, and solid goaltending. But somehow every game is like whiplash to Stars fans. This team will beat the Avalanche and end their regulation win streak only to lose to the Coyotes two games later. They’ll miss a wide-open net one game, scoring four goals the next game, and then miss a wide-open net a few games later… again.

The Stars are an inconsistent and sometimes confusing team this season. Urgency must be at an all-time high the Stars need to win consistently now. Hopefully, they can dominate on the next road trip which will start March 4th in Winnipeg.