It's almost November and the Dallas Stars, honestly, could not have asked for a better first month of the season. Oh, there's still three games to go in October but this team is doing what it needs to do - earn points.
It's really as simple as that.
Think back to last March when the Stars were in the thick of a playoff race and every point was precious. Guess what? These points earned in October count the same as the ones in March. Stockpiling a few now certainly does not hurt.
Last year, Dallas got off to a tough start, going 5-8-3 for 13 points in its first 16 games. The Stars have 14 points in its first 11 games so far this season, earning points in nine of them with a record of 5-2-4. Dallas has come away with points in the standings 82% of the time so far.
Now let's look at where and how the Stars have earned their points. This is an Olympic year, meaning that there are many parts of the season that are compacted with multiple games in few nights. The NHL has to schedule this way in order to take the 15-day break in February.
- Dallas' win at St. Louis on Saturday night completed a stretch that saw the Stars play seven games in 11 days, in five different cities. Dallas went 4-2-1 in these games.
- The Stars have yet to suffer a regulation loss on the road this season (4-0-3). Through seven road contests (roughly 17% of the season's road total), Dallas has put something positive towards their ledger every night. It's the longest road streak for consecutive points to start a season for the Stars.
- Dallas' record in its first seven road games last season: 2-5-0.
- Five of the seven road games this season have been against playoff teams from last year, with Dallas going an impressive 4-0-1 in those contests.
- The Stars have 14 games in the month of October, which ties a franchise record. Only once before have they played 14 games in October, going 9-4-1 (19 pts) to start the 1997-98 season.
- Of the Stars’ 37 goals this season, 28 have come at even-strength where they have outscored the opponent, 28-18. They have also collected one shorthanded goal and eight power play goals.
Now the Stars need to find that magic at home, where they are just 1-2-1 so far this season. Dallas plays four of the next five at American Airlines Center and that will be key to keep this momentum going.
While Dallas has three days off before hosting Toronto on Wednesday, the Leafs game starts another stretch of three games in four nights, and the team does it all over again the following week.
Let's keep this going with a strong effort against the Leafs on Wednesday.Encouraging Stat of the Day:
Eighteen of the Stars' 37 goals (48.6%) this season have been scored by players that are 26 years old or younger. This includes six from 22-year old James Neal, five from 24-year old Loui Eriksson
, three from 20-year old Jamie Benn
, and two from 22-year old Tom Wandell
.The Stars will host the Toronto Maple Leafs this Wednesday (tickets) and the Florida Panthers on Friday (tickets). Hope to see you out at the games!