Five stats that illustrate Dallas’ woeful start
0-7-3: That is Dallas’ record against Central Division opponents this year -- the Stars are the only team in the NHL yet to record an in-division win.
Repeat: The only team yet to win a game in its division.
It’s a dramatic turn of events for Lindy Ruff’s crew. Last year, Dallas kept its head above water in the ridiculously tough Central (13-11-5), which played a big role in snapping a five-year playoff drought.
As a comparison point, consider the Stars went 5-3-1 against the Wild and Predators last year, gaining 11 of a possible 18 points; this year, the Stars are already a combined 0-4-1 versus Minnesota and Nashville.
10: That’s the number of times Dallas has conceded five goals or more in a game this season (unsurprisingly, the Stars have lost all 10.) More concerning than the goals allowed, though, might be that Ruff suggested the latest instance -- Tuesday’s 5-2 loss to the Jets -- was the lousiest his team has been on defense to date.
“It started with our defense,” Ruff said, per the Dallas Morning-News. “It started in the first period with the first couple of shifts. We threw a couple of pucks in bad places. Iced the puck. Gave up a two-on-one on an easy neutral zone play.
“I thought it was the worst our defense has struggled and that affects scoring chances, our puck movement and our transition game.”
.890: That’s the Stars’ team save percentage, 29th in the NHL (the only team worse is Edmonton.) Dallas’ goaltending has been as troublesome as its defense this season; the team waived and demoted backup Anders Lindback after five lackluster appearances and replaced him with journeyman Jussi Rynnas, who’s posted a 4.57 GAA and .841 save percentage in his limited opportunities.
The lion’s share of the work this year has landed on Kari Lehtonen, and the results haven’t been great. The Finnish netminder has yet to provide consistent play and currently sits with a 3.10 GAA and .902 save percentage, and got called out by Ruff following Tuesday’s loss to the Jets.
“We needed save we didn’t get,” Ruff vented.
Two: That’s the number of goals scored by LW Ales Hemsky, who’s disappointed since signing a three-year, $12 million deal to join Dallas this summer. Overall, Hemsky has just seven points through 25 games and his 0.28 points-per-game average -- the lowest of his 12-year career -- has him on pace to score just 23 this season.
No surprise, then, that Hemsky’s been a healthy scratch as of late.
100: That’s the number of goals Dallas has conceded in its 28 games played, the first club to hit the century mark this season.
Comparatively speaking, Dallas allowed just 80 goals through 28 games last year.