The Dallas Stars entered the 2014-15 campaign with some serious question marks, but it’s still fair to say that expectations were high for them after adding Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky over the summer. So far the Stars have an underwhelming 6-6-4 record though, thanks in large part due to a seven-game losing streak.
That start might have surprised some, but Stars GM Jim Nill isn’t one of them.
“No, I was worried about it coming into the season,” Nill told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “When you start getting better you have to remember how you got there. It’s a little bit subconscious because sometimes you take more chances than you should. Not really surprised where we are – it comes with expectations.”
Nill believes that the team has lost its identity, which is something Stars coach Lindy Ruff and him were concerned about going into the season. He also noted that he’s happy with his bottom-six forwards, but the top-six have to do more. Tyler Seguin has excelled with 10 goals and 22 points in 16 games, but Jamie Benn has just two assists in his last seven games and Hemsky has one point in 15 contests.
The bigger concern going into this season though was the team’s defense.
“Trevor Daley and Alex Goligoski have been outstanding,” Nill said. “The rest of the guys are really young and inexperienced. You know there are going to be highs and lows with that. To be fair to them, it’s the way we play – you can leave them hung out to dry.
“It’s overall team defense. To be successful, everybody has to buy into it. You have to play good defense. That doesn’t mean you take away from your offense, but it means you don’t turn it over at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Of course the Stars’ blueline recently got younger when they traded Sergei Gonchar to Montreal in exchange for forward Travis Moen.
The Stars have some catching up to do, but at least there’s still plenty of time left to do it.