“Well, we have to do it the hard way,” Dallas Stars Head Coach Rick Bowness states after the 4-2 loss to the Calgary Flames. This loss puts the Stars on a three-game losing streak, while they are in the midst of fighting for a Wild Card spot. The Stars hoped to put some distance between themselves and the Vegas Golden Knights while on their last road trip of the season but failed to capitalize on getting even one point out of six.
We Have to Do It the Hard Way
Detrimental Ten Days
On April 12th, the Dallas Stars beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in an electric 1-0 win. Since then, the Stars have only scored 11 goals in six games and went 2-4. In the last six games, the power play has gone 3/15 and the goals came from either Roope Hintz or Jason Robertson. However, the penalty kill only allowed one goal out of 12 attempts, while also scoring two short-handed goals.
Missing eight of the twelve points in the last ten days has put the Dallas Stars in a position where they have to “win four in a row,” according to Captain Jamie Benn. The Vegas Golden Knights are now only two points behind the Dallas Stars, who sit in the second Wild Card position, and both teams have four games remaining in the regular season. The two teams meet up in a season-defining game on April 26th in Dallas; this game could potentially decide who makes it to playoffs.
The Dallas Stars finished up their Canadian road trip where they faced the Vancouver Canucks, the Edmonton Oilers, and the Calgary Flames. Not only did the Stars lose every game, the loss to the Canucks allowed Vancouver to sweep Dallas on the season series. This is the second time this season the Stars have gotten zero points on a three-game road trip. The Dallas Stars were outscored 15-6 on this roadtrip.
The Dallas Stars top line consists of Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz, and Joe Pavelski. In the 4-2 loss against the Calgary Flames, Robertson’s 38th goal put the line at a combined 100 goals for the season; all the other forwards on the team only have 94 goals for the season. Both Roope and Robertson have over 30 goals, with Pavelski trailing at 27. Dallas only scored six goals on the road trip, and this line scored all but one of these goals.
This line has not only been the most consistent in producing, this is the only line that hasn’t been shuffled throughout the season. This is the sixth consecutive game where the Stars have scored two goals or less. And this line has recorded eight of the eleven goals in the last six games. One could argue that the consistency is affecting the other lines’ production, but if the Stars want to see the playoffs, their other lines are going to have to step up.
Players moving to the KHL?
Rumors have it that Alexander Radulov may be moving to the Kontinental Hockey League after this season. Radulov is at a season-low of four goals in 69 games, with only 22 points total on the season. The Russian hockey player was out the majority of last season, after having surgery on a core muscle injury and only played in 11 games last season. Radulov has been with the Dallas Stars since 2017 and his contract ends with the completion of the 2021-2022 season.
With a cap hit of over six million dollars, his lack of production has been less than ideal. Radulov previously had been a 70-plus point player for Dallas and thrived when on a line with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. This year’s lack of production makes re-signing with Dallas seem unlikely, however, Radulov’s agent has stated that the Ak Bars are looking to potentially sign him in the off-season.
If the Dallas Stars want to avoid golfing in May, they are going to have to find a way to score goals and win games in these last four games. They face the Seattle Kraken, the Vegas Golden Knights, the Arizona Coyotes, and the Anaheim Ducks, with the game against Vegas being the biggest. The other three games should be “guaranteed wins” but with the disappointing play and recent deflating losses, anything could happen. The Dallas Stars should be panicking going into this four-game homestand. In order to make the playoffs, they’ll have to “do it the hard way.”