After a win against Columbus which once again saw Kari Lehtonen standing on his head to pull off save after save, questions need to be asked around the number of shots against for the Dallas Stars.
A 3-2 win is great for what it is – especially on the road – but when you’ve been outshot by a 40-18 ratio, sooner or later something has to give. After all it’s only a matter of time before we come up against a team better able to make the most of their chances.
We have been outshot in all but one of the six games played so far and for a coach that’s trying to install a defense-first approach that’s got to raise an eyebrow. Don’t get me wrong, the win’s wonderful and this knack of winning games by the odd goal will certainly prove useful as the season intensifies but we seem to be letting ourselves down somewhere.
My theory is the forecheck. While you’re in the opponents zone, the idea is simply to stay there, apply the pressure and get the puck on net. Last night there wasn’t a whole lot of that outside the first stanza. Perhaps we Stars fans are somewhat spoiled with a rich history of stifling fore-checkers and suffocating defense and our defensive core themselves may just need a little more time to gel. Then how much time do you allow? Another six games? Twelve? More? Surely the time has to come soon in order for us to get a few more decent wins against playoff caliber sides and truly prove our worth.
So far so good though and coach Double G (Stars coach Glen Gulutzan) pretty much has the whole team singing from the same hymn sheet and – perhaps most important of all – enjoying playing the game again.
We don’t feature again until Friday against the Anaheim Ducks in the second of a four game road trip and that may be the first real indication of how far we’ve really at this point. As a sign off point, is it just me or does there seem to be far too much time between Stars games?
Thanks for reading.