The Struggles Continue for the Dallas Stars

Michael HolstContributor INovember 24, 2008

The Dallas Stars continue to struggle, now ranking 14th in the west, and last in the division with two losses to the Los Angeles Kings, and then adding a shoot-out loss to the Anaheim Ducks.

What do you do as a coach or GM, when you have a team that last year was the second best team in the Western Conference, and started the year as the second best team in hockey, and now is the third worst team in hockey (any suggestionsplease contact Dave Tippett immediately)?

The Dallas Stars, according to the numbers are the second worst team in the West and third worst in the NHL, but honestly, when you look at the team, there is no way that this team is badeven with Captain, Brendan Morrow, out (15pts 5G 10A 49PIM) with the ACL tearwith a top line of Ribiero (18pts), Eriksson (13pts), and Lehtinen (1pt- injury), a second line of Modano (13 pts), Richards (15 pts), and Parrish (5 pts- just traded to Dallas) They are just good.

The consensus around the league is that Sean Avery is the problem, but that couldn't be further from the truth.  Just take a look at his numbers he scores on a consistent basis, he is probably one of the most talented agitators in the league, and with his 77 PIM, he leads the Stars and the league. 

When he gets into it with other players, he's doing his job, because he's not getting in the head of another fighter on the other time, he is getting to the other teams best players, for instance just this weekend, he fought Chris Kunitz.  Now I'm not saying Kunitz is anything to write home about, but he is Line 1 left wing for the rival Anaheim Ducks. 

Marty Turco has been anything but good this year following arguably his best year as an NHL goalie, and Dave Tippett can't catch a break, these are some of the more obvious and true facts as to why the Stars are playing the way they are.

Dallas will not end up in last in there division this year; in fact they will not end up out of the playoffs this year. They will end up with a No. 7 or 8 seed in the playoffs. Who knows where they'll end up, but one thing is for sure:  this team is too good to miss the playoffs this year