@AnaheimDucks big guys are winning that battle. Andersen, getzlaf, perry. Are out playing seguin, Benn and lehtonen. That needs to change.
— Mike Modano (@9modano) April 19, 2014
Mike Modano, the Dallas Stars’ favorite son and alternate governor, blamed the Stars’ game 2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on the underwhelming performances of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and goalie Kari Lehtonen.
With all due respect to Mike Modano and all he’s done for the Stars organization, he’s wrong.
What Dallas needs is consistent scoring depth. When Dallas has that working for them, they win games. Scoring depth is how Dallas got to the playoffs this year. Scoring depth is how they earned that four-goal lead in last night’s Game 6. Scoring depth is how Dallas will win a Stanley Cup—if they can only be consistent with it.
When the Stars lose their scoring depth, they really lose it. The burden of any kind of goal production falls back on the Benn-Seguin partnership and the rest of the team falls away.
What Dallas needs is a solid second line center. And lucky for them, they have one waiting in the AHL.
Currently playing with the Texas Stars, forward Travis Morin was recently named AHL MVP. He began the season with a 10-game scoring streak and showed no signs of slowing down, collecting 32 goals and 55 assists. With 87 points for the season, he’s the AHL’s lead scorer.
Morin doubled his previous season’s 44-point total. That’s a big productivity increase in a short amount of time. It’s an indicator that Morin is a player hungry for a crack at the NHL. He’s been called up a few times and played four games with Dallas this season but failed to leave a lasting mark the way he has in the AHL.
Still, there’s no arguing with the numbers, as Morin is far and away the most talented offensive player the Texas Stars currently have.
The Stars have struggled all season to find a center to anchor rookie talent Valeri Nichushkin. The answer may lay in Travis Morin, who kept his point production in the AHL up while working alongside rookie winger Curtis McKenzie. Nichuskin needs a center who can do for him what Seguin has done for Benn.
Morin shows all the signs of being a star center in the making. Paired with a winger like Nichushkin, they could provide much-needed scoring depth (on a more consistent basis) and propel Dallas into a more successful, playoff driven future.