The Dallas Stars have had a variety of different seasons all mixed into the 2021-22 campaign. They have struggled to score, scored loads of goals, been excellent on special teams, gone on long poor streaks on both sides, and have seen both long winning streaks and a long losing streak. Lately, they have been winning more than losing but the style of game they are playing seems to differ from what we have become accustomed to as ‘Dallas Stars hockey.’
Chaos Seems to Find Dallas & They Do Not Mind
Let’s take a quick look at the month of March. The Stars won games 4-3, 5-3, 6-3, and lost games 7-4, 4-1, and pretty much every other area on the map. The constant in almost every game has been chao. Not a single game goes by for this team that does not feature a highlight-reel goaltender performance, a crazy back-and-forth affair, multiple goals in quick succession, or extended periods of time in which a team looks like they should score but is unable to convert on multiple chances. Not surprisingly, the Stars sit 14th in goals-against and 19th in goals-for. This style of hockey is not what we have seen from this team over the past few seasons, but does it really matter?
“Good teams find a way to win,” said Bowness. “We found a way to get two points. Even if it takes a shootout, we’ll take it and run.”
In sports, fans and media find just about every reason to dissect a game and find what went wrong or what went right. If you have been around this Stars team for the past few seasons, it is understandable to be worried when they allow four or more goals, even if they win. But, as the sport trends towards more scoring once again, maybe this is not actually an issue. If the Stars are able to find a way to win a majority of these hectic games, then does it matter that they had to take a long winding road to get there? The players and coaches certainly don’t think so.
“That was a hell of a hockey game,” Bowness said after an overtime win against Montreal. “Fans got their money’s worth, and we found a way to get the two points. We needed two points badly.”
Dallas won on Tuesday for the 10th time this season when trailing in the third period. That is second to only the Colorado Avalanche (11). The Stars also hold the best overtime record (9-1) in the entire NHL after losing 17 times past regulation last season. So in the end, they are finding ways to get two points. Although we keep trying, Each time we analyze those crazy wins and ask deep questions, we are met with the same sort of answer from the team.
“Great hockey game,” said Seguin after a wild back-and-forth victory over Edmonton. “From the start and the drop of the puck, I thought it was chippy, it was intense, it was fast, and they have a lot of skill. It was a good game.”
Now, can this translate to a successful playoff run? Well, as we discussed above, the 2020 bubble Stars team was a perfect example of how it can. That team never went away. They were seconds from trailing 3-1 in the first round against Calgary, trailed 3-0 in the first period of Game 6 before scoring seven straight, watched Colorado force a Game 7 after blowing a 3-1 series lead, trailed multiple times in Game 7, and went down 2-0 to Vegas in the eventual series-clinching 3-2 win in Game 5. They simply did not let anything get to them and constantly believed that they would be able to get back into the game. The result? Just two wins shy of their second Stanley Cup and first in 20 years.
Related: Stars Have Rediscovered Their Swagger in the Face of Adversity
“They’re resilient, this is a resilient group,” Bowness said. “I know we have had some tough third periods all year, we get that. But what is done is done and you play through it. This group will learn to play through those situations.”
So while it may be a higher-stress style of hockey and each game brings its own challenges and adventures, I urge Stars fans to simply sit back and enjoy the ride because this team may just have something special under the hood that other teams are not ready for.