The Dallas Stars are one frustrated hockey team.
Last night’s 3-1 loss to the Wild was just their latest setback. Afterwards, the comments were telling.
“I don’t know if I have ever been through a stretch like this,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said, per the Dallas Morning News. “That first period was puck possession, and we did a good job in all areas, and we come away with nothing again. The bounces aren’t going our way.”
“I’m kind of at a loss for words right now,” forward Patrick Eaves told reporters. “I thought we’ve been playing some pretty good hockey and not getting results. It’s just the way it’s going, but we’ll work our way out of it.”
Dallas has now dropped six of its last seven and sits seven points back of Calgary for the second wild-card spot. With the March 1 trade deadline looming, it appears GM Jim Nill will be a seller. Eaves and Patrick Sharp are both pending UFAs who could be auctioned off.
It has been an extremely disappointing season for the Stars, last year’s Central Division champs. There was frustration even before the games started, with Valeri Nichushkin bolting for the KHL. Then came all the injuries, and the goaltending never improved either.
For Nill, it’s going to be a challenging offseason. He has to fix the goaltending somehow, but first he has to decide if Lindy Ruff is the right coach.
How quickly things can change in the NHL. Ruff was a Jack Adams finalist in 2016. Now he’s on an expiring contract, with no guarantee of a job next season.