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Stats! The Strengths and Weaknesses of the Dallas Stars

As we inch closer to the midpoint of the Dallas Stars season, let’s look at the glaring statistical strengths of weaknesses of this team so far.

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The Dallas Stars have played 31 games in the 2022-23 season. Let’s take a look at how the season has gone so far:

18-8-5 (.661 points percentage)

1st in Central Divison, 2nd in Western Conference, 5th in NHL 

Home: 9-3-3 (.700%) (5th)

Road: 9-5-2 (.625%) (9th)

Now let’s look at the biggest strengths and weaknesses of the Stars as we near the midpoint of the season. It is no surprise to see a much longer list of strengths than weaknesses. 

Strengths

Scoring

  • Goals for: 112 (2nd) (110 goals through 30 games most in Dallas history)
  • Goals against: 83 (7th)
  • Goal differential: +29 (3rd)

These are the most notable and most important stats on the list. 

The Stars have completely flipped the script from last season when they struggled to score goals and were inconsistent on the defensive end. They have gone from one of the lowest-scoring teams to breaking the Dallas Stars record with 110 goals in their first 30 games. Ranking in the top 10 in both categories and third overall is a massive reason for their success so far. 

Special Teams

  • Road power play: 14-44 (31.8%–1st)
  • Penalty kill: 17 goals against on 111 chances (84.7%–2nd)
  • Shorthanded goals: 4 (T-3rd)

The special teams have been a strength pretty much since the drop of the puck in October. The penalty kill has been put to the test (more on that below) and has responded with the second-best percentage in the NHL. Dallas has also scored four shorthanded goals. 

The power-play has been split down the middle in terms of home versus away success. On the road, there is no team better, as Dallas has the top unit in the entire NHL. At home…it has been a different story. Jason Robertson and Jamie Benn lead the team with six power-play goals each. 

Read: Stars @ Hurricanes: Lines, Notes, How to Watch

Situational

  • Leading after two periods: 13-0-0
  • Scoring first: 14-5-1
  • Opponent scores first: 4-3-4
  • When outshot by opponent: 7-2-3
  • Three-goal games: 12-4-0
  • VS Central Division: 6-2-3
  • VS Western Conference: 9-3-3
  • First-period scoring: 32-19
  • Third-period scoring: 43-25

The Stars have been perfect when leading after two periods. That is an impressive record no matter what, but even more impressive with the number of multi-goal comebacks around the league this season. 

This list shows the Stars ability to win games in many different situations. They can win whether they are outshot or outshoot their opponents, they are nearly even when allowing the first goal, and they have won 70% of the games in which they have scored first. 

In the first and third periods, the Stars have been on fire. Outscoring opponents 75-44 in those two periods combined is elite. Those numbers have allowed them to jump ahead or come back/secure wins when needed late in games. 

The 9-3-3 record against the Western Conference is huge. Winning within the conference and division is vital to making the postseason and improving your seeding when the Spring rolls around. A 6-2-3 record against the Central is not surprising when you see Dallas sitting atop the Division standings. 

Other 

  • Goaltending: Oettinger: 2.42 GAA (7th), .920 save percentage (7th), Wins: 12 (T-7th)
  • Faceoffs: 54.97% (2nd)

Jake Oettinger has been among the elite goaltenders all season. Outside of a small dip in numbers when coming back from an injury, the 23-year-old has put up ridiculous numbers. Over his last four starts, Oettinger is 3-1-0 with a .931 save percentage. He is coming off a 45-save performance against the Washington Capitals. 

Stars Notebook: Offense Gets Enough, Jake Oettinger Does the Rest 

Dallas has been a strong faceoff team for quite a while now. And this season, they have been at their best. Winning 54.97% of the faceoffs has allowed them to start with possession as well as boost their power-play and penalty-kill numbers. 

One surprising note is that even with the solid faceoff percentage, Dallas is still not a very strong possession team. 

Weaknesses

  • One-goal games: 3-2-5
  • Overtime: 2-5
  • Second-period scoring: 35-36
  • Home power play: 9-48 (18.8%–24th)
  • Penalties: 10.8 penalty minutes per game (23rd)

For a team that was 13-6 in one-goal games last season, it is surprising to see Dallas struggle in tight games this season. A large part of that issue has been their inability to win past regulation. 

Before winning two straight overtime games at home, Dallas was 0-5 past 60 minutes. They are 2-0 in their last two, however, and believe that that number will continue to get better. The reason this stat has not bitten them yet is the number of wins by three or more goals (12) and the infrequency of close games.   

For some reason, the Stars are poor in the second period. Head Coach Pete DeBoer pointed his finger at the lack of puck possession in the offensive zone, stating that good second-period teams usually possess the puck and out change their opponents in the period with the long change. Luckily for Dallas, they have been able to overcome this stat with excellent first and second periods. 

The difference between the road power play (1st) and home power play (24th) is baffling. There don’t appear to be any glaring differences in how they approach the extra man opportunities but they have really struggled to put the puck in the net. Perhaps they are trying too hard in front of their home fans? 

Penalties, penalties, penalties. The Stars struggled mightily to stay out of the box for the first 25 games. Those penalties often hurt them but because of their elite penalty kill, they were able to overcome them. However, things are looking up, as Dallas has taken three or fewer penalties in the last six games. 

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