Dallas Stars 2020 NHL Season Analysis

Dallas Stars 2020 NHL Season Analysis

Written by on March 31, 2020

The Dallas Stars sat third in the NHL’s Central Division with 82 points when the league went into a shutdown. If the league skips ahead to the playoffs – assuming a return this season – then the Stars would face division rival Colorado. Here’s an overview of the Stars’ season and their NHL odds to win the Stanley Cup.

Dallas Stars 2020 NHL Season Analysis

Season Recap

The most memorable game for Dallas this year clearly was the Winter Classic at the Cotton Bowl, with the Stars beating Nashville 4-2. Alexander Radulov scored the tiebreaking goal on a one-timer with just under 15 minutes left and Andrej Sekera quickly added another goal for the Stars, who were down 2-0 after an extended Nashville power play in the opening minutes. There were 85,630 fans at Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, the second-largest crowd to attend an NHL game.

The break might have come at an opportune time for Dallas as it lost a sixth straight game in its finale, 4-2 at home to the New York Rangers on March 10. “We’re still in a playoff spot and we can dig ourselves out of this. But if we don’t prepare ourselves properly day of a game, it’s not going to work,” Dallas interim coach Rick Bowness said afterward.

Ben Bishop has dropped a season-high four games in a row, slipping to 21-16-4 with a 2.50 goals-against average and .920 save percentage across 44 appearances this season. Backup Anton Khudobin leads the NHL with a .930 save percentage and ranks third with a 2.22 goals against average over 30 games played this season.

Bowness took over for Jim Montgomery after he was fired for “unprofessional conduct” on Dec. 10, 2019. The 50-year-old had two years remaining on his contract and was in his second season with the team. Each year left on the deal was worth $1.6 million, but the team is not responsible for paying it out because the firing came with cause and was not performance-based.

Montgomery did not reveal what that conduct was, but he maintains his previous stance that his firing was just: “I lost my way. I was terminated, and rightfully so. It was surreal, like an out-of-body experience. All I could feel was incredible shame and guilt. All I was thinking was that it was going to be tough to protect my family. Making mistakes that affect them… it hurts.” Earlier this year, Montgomery checked himself into a rehabilitation center for alcohol abuse.

Winger Alexander Radulov tested negative for COVID-19. Radulov missed six days of team activities, including two games, prior to the pause of the 2019-20 season because he wasn’t feeling well. The team wanted to get him tested as a precaution even though he fought off whatever illness was bothering him.

Stars center Tyler Seguin went through a career-long 17-game goal drought earlier in the season, and said he was able to break through by simply working on other elements of his game. The Stars as a team are having trouble converting their chances. The coaching staff is pushing a style where Dallas gets more high-quality scoring chances than the opposition. Dallas ranks seventh best in high-danger scoring chances for at 640 and seventh-best in fewest high-danger scoring chances against at 555. However, Dallas ranks 29th in shooting percentage at 6.65 percent.

Denis Gurianov has been terrific this season for the Stars since establishing himself in the lineup as a regular contributor following a short stint with the team’s AHL affiliate in October. The former first-round pick leads Dallas with 20 goals through 64 games — the most of any first-year player in franchise history since future captain Jamie Benn netted 22 in 2009-10 — ranks eighth in points with 29 and has proven himself as a threat to score any time he touches the puck.

Dallas Stars odds to win 2020 Stanley Cup

The Stars are +1600 Odds to win their first Cup since 2000.