So far, so good for the 2022-23 Dallas Stars under first-year head coach Peter Deboer.
As of Wednesday, Dallas sits alone atop the NHL’s Central Division- which includes the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche, in addition to four other playoff teams from a year ago.
The Stars are 13-6-4 through the team’s first 23 games. For reference, last year, the Stars were 11-7-2 under Rick Bowness. It hasn’t been much of a surprise that Dallas has seen offensive improvement- Deboer’s first years in his past coaching stops have consistency seen an uptick in scoring.
Here’s a look at some of the notable stats and storylines as the team heads into December, and a five game home-stand against Anaheim, Minnesota, Toronto, Ottawa and Detroit.
Roope Hintz signs an 8-year extension
One of the Stars’ biggest pieces is now locked up long-term.
After signing Jake Oettinger, Jason Robertson and Miro Heiskanen to long-term deals, general manager Jim Nill next turned to lock in one of Dallas’ offensive table-setter to one as well. Hintz’s deal covers 8 seasons at an $8.45 cap hit- the same number as Heiskanen’s deal signed July 2021.
After scoring a career-high 37 goals last year, Hintz has tallied 8 goals and 16 assists- better than a point-per-game pace through the team’s first 22 games.
Jamie Benn enjoying hot start
One of the most refreshing things for Stars fans to see has been the all-out resurgence of captain Jamie Benn under Deboer’s leadership.
Benn looked older and slower than ever entering last offseason, a major point of concern for Stars fans considering he’s still under contract through 2026- but has found a pep in his step this year.
After scoring 19 goals or less in each of the last three seasons, Benn has roared out of the gates with 10 in just 22 games- all while typically skating on the third forward line. It’s still early, but he’s on pace to fly by his numbers from ’21-22- and is also at an 8 plus-minius this season- compared to a -13 at the end of last year.
Stars record historic comeback vs. Blackhawks
What looked like an all-out dud turned into an early thanksgiving present for Dallas fans last week in a 6-4 comeback win over the Blackhawks. The Stars trailed 4-1 with 10:00 remaining in Wednesday’s game, but added four straight and an empty neter in the third to seal the win. The collapse is more of an indictment on the overmatched Blackhawks, but it was a fun night at the AAC either way.
Jason Robertson chasing history
Forward Jason Robertson’s consecutive games with point streak has now reach a whopping 16 games. It’s a record for the team’s time in Dallas, and he’s just four shy of the overall franchise record of 20 games, set by Bellows in 1986 with the Minnesota North Stars.
Robertson has absolutely lived up to his offseason extension, pacing the league with 19 goals – three more than Edmonton’s Connor McDavid. The best part? He’s just 23 years old.
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