On Sunday, the Dallas Stars beat the Colorado Avalanche.
On the surface, that statement seems pretty ordinary. I mean, the Stars have ranged from decent to playoff-bound in recent years, while the Avs have generally been an increasingly stale joke involving a flaming dumpster and Stan Kroenke, and last year, the Stars won 4 of 5 against the Avs by a collective 19 goals to 13.
But, this was no ordinary win!
First up, Dallas scored 7 goals from just 28 shots. That’s a shooting percentage of 25%. Quite frankly, that’s absurd. That’s up there with the likes of this weekend’s Montreal-Detroit game in terms of shooting clinics. This is no fluke, either. The Stars have now won five straight, by a composite score of 23 to 11, and are shooting 13.6% against 7.1%. That’s better than the LA Kings have been over their 5 game win streak, and would be better than Montreal without that dissection of the Red Wings.
Second, three of these wins have come from games played in buildings that aren’t the American Airlines Center, and are even located in states that aren’t Texas. That means the Stars have figured out that whole “not losing on the road” thing. This is important, as 8 of our 10 regulation losses, along with our only overtime loss, have all occurred as the visiting team. The old adage that teams who can’t win on the road can’t win in the playoffs is, broadly speaking, not wrong, and this is a very good sign for the rest of the season.
Third, the Stars have only conceded 2 power play goals and even scored 2 shorthanded. We also rank third in the NHL and first in the Central Division for penalty killing this season. Our even strength defending might only be average, but our special teams are absolutely getting things done.
Fourth, Ben Bishop. He’s no Bobrovski or Lundqvist, but he’s continued to put up respectable, above-average numbers. Compared to Lehtonen, whose numbers this season are essentially continuous for the previous four, and that other guy we had before, this is good. Dallas could still use another goalie, and I’m liking what 2013 draft pick Philippe Desrosiers has done so far for our ECHL affiliate in Idaho, but Ben might could get us into the wild card, and that’s not too shabby.
Fifth, and most importantly, multiple players are able to score goals. Yes, Radek Faksa and Tyler Seguin both have 5 goals each in the past 5 games, but another 10 guys have at least 1 goal, and 16 players have at least one assist. This is how a well-built offense should work. Even when Jamie Benn isn’t scoring loads of goals, we’re still winning.
And with that, here’s the five dudes that, in my personal opinion and in no particular order, have been the most important to achieving this 5 game winning streak.
Tyler Seguin and Radek Faksa get the top nod, with very little to differentiate them. They’ve both got 5 goals and 2 assists. Seguin gets the advantage in terms of time on the ice per game, but Faksa has made more happen in less time. Either way, these two dudes have been nothing short of stellar.
Next up, we find Alexander Radulov. He’s sitting on 5 points from 5 games, and 25 points in total across 27 games played. He’s been an excellent addition, and his highlight reel potential is a solid intangible.
Fourth pick goes to John Klingberg, who has contributed quite a lot on both offense and defense, and spends the most time on the ice out of all skaters. He’s second highest in terms of offensive and defensive points share, and that means he’s been the most valuable player overall.
My final pick for our top players lately goes to Esa Lindell. He’s been our strongest defensive player all season, he’s already on pace for career highs in DPS, Fenwick, and PDO, and he’s only 23. This kid has a bright, bright future ahead, and I really hope we keep him around.
Next game is Tuesday night at 7:30 PM here in Dallas against Nashville. Let’s see if we can keep the streak alive against PK Subban and his friends.
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