It was a tale of two months for the Dallas Stars. They started March on fire by winning six games in a row, their longest such streak of the season. Things kind of fell apart after that though as Dallas would lose six of the next nine games. Their standings reflected that shift in play as they went from division leaders to now sitting in the ninth spot in the Western Conference, just out of the playoffs (boy does that sound familiar).
Overall, Dallas went 9-6-0 in March, so it wasn't a total loss. It's just disappointing that such an amazing start would turn out to be nothing more than a buffer that would inevitably vanish. They had three games go into a shootout and won all of them so no loser points for the Stars in March. Dallas was free of injuries for most of the month, but they all seemed to pile up at the same time. Radek Dvorak, Eric Nystrom, Brenden Morrow and Mark Fistric all missed time due to various injuries.
Dallas was 5 of 41 (12%) on the PP this month and 48 of 55 (87%) on the PK. In February, Dallas was 7 of 39 (18%) on PP chances and were 45 of 54 (83%) on the PK last month so their special teams were worked even harder in March despite playing one less game.
Kari Lehtonen started 13 of the 15 games in March. Richard Bachman started the other two. Bachman was 1-1-0 while Lehtonen was 8-5-0.
For the PP and SH stat boxes, I first put the amount of time that they had in the month and the total time that the player has on the season in parentheses.
As a small comparison, the league leader among forwards in ice time this season is Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk with 24:30 of TOI/G. He has 1813:31 total time on ice on the season. For defensemen, the league leader is Florida Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell with 26:55 of TOI/G. He has a total of 2,127:03 ice time this season.
more after the jump
GP = Games Played TOI = Time on ice TOI/G = Time on ice per game
PP TOI = Power-play time on ice SH TOI = Shorthanded time on ice
Forwards (Ordered by TOI/G in March):
||TOI (Season)||TOI/G (March)
||PP TOI (season)
||SH TOI (season)
|Mike Ribeiro||15||311:29||1437:28||20:46||20:30||40:55 (204:27)||21:35 (69:19)
|Loui Eriksson||15||296:52||1556:39||19:47||20:41||38:41 (207:45)||28:31 (140:01)
|Eric Nystrom||12||169:58||977:28||14:10||14:50||1:22 (10:59)||14:14 (89:45)
|Adam Burish||15||212:10||796:24||14:09||12:19||6:05 (34:52)||22:18 (89:55)
|Tomas Vincour||13||112:26||463:20||8:39||11:17||--- (17:21)||0:12 (0:26)
|Ryan Garbutt||10||80:06||140:45||8:01||8:40||0:16 (0:16)||1:02 (1:02)
|Jake Dowell||8||46:28||392:23||5:49||7:20||--- (1:02)||2:31 (24:54)
||1||4:46||298:35||4:46||7:47||--- (22:24)||--- (9:55)|
- Mike Ribeiro had himself a nice month with four goals and 10 assists. It's his second best total of the season. He led the Stars in assists in March.
- Loui Eriksson had his third straight month (and fourth overall) with 13 points. He had five goals and eight assists in March. He only had two points (both assists) in the final six games of March though, so he ended last month on a big down note.
- Jamie Benn had his second best month of the season with eight goals and four assists in March. He really needs some offensive help though as Steve Ott and Adam Burish aren't exactly known as scorers.
- Michael Ryder followed up his great February with an equally great March. He had nince goals and six assists, the exact same numbers as last month. He was the Stars leading scorer in March in both goals and points.
- Steve Ott led all Stars with 37 penalty minutes in March. He had one goal and seven assists. It's amazing that he hasn't been moved off the power play despite the lack of numbers. He's a second unit power play guy and has a grand total of four power play goals, two of them in the past three months. Unacceptable.
- Much of that sentence also applies to Brenden Morrow. He's also a second unit power play guy and has five power plays goals on the season, two in the past three months. It's a wonder that Jamie Benn scores goals at all. Morrow would end up on the fourth line by the end of the month, but was still pulling down nearly 13 minutes of ice time a game.
- Radek Dvorak missed seven games this month with an ankle injury. Before he got hurt, he had one goal in March.
- Vernon Fiddler had his third straight month of one goal and one assist, so he's consistent I guess. He's a vital piece of the penalty kill though.
- Eric Nystrom has fallen back down to earth (hard) in terms of goal scoring. He didn't have a goal in March and had only two assists. He has 1 goal in the past 27 games. He missed the final three games on the month with a leg laceration that he suffered in the first minute of a gama against the Calgary Flames.
- Tom Wandell had the least amount of TOI/G he's seen all season as Tomas Vincour and Ryan Garbutt got some more time and Reilly Smith showed up. He ended up with no points in March. Jake Dowell and Toby Peterson also had minutes drop. Heck, Peterson only played one game.
- Reilly Smith got the first two games of his NHL under his belt at the end of the month. He managed only two shots on goal as he wasted away on the fourth line and was scratched in the last game. An offensive talent like him needs to be with someone like Benn.
Defensemen (Ordered by TOI/G)
||TOI (Season)||TOI/G (March)
||PP TOI (season)
||SH TOI (season)|
|Stephane Robidas||15||354:07||1663:45||23:36||23:17||36:19 (189:36)||43:35 (215:27)
|Alex Goligoski||15||346:16||1545:27||23:05||22:59||41:03 (215:42)||29:58 (85:05)
|Trevor Daley||15||314:11||1654:17||20:57||21:26||23:46 (169:34)||34:32 (189:47)
|Sheldon Souray||11||223:33||1266:06||20:19||20:19||5:23 (111:08)||41:42 (148:43)
|Philip Larsen||15||277:44||928:08||18:31||17:53||19:20 (66:50)||6:55 (22:46)
|Mark Fistric||10||166:52||965:00||16:41||17:34||0:09 (0:58)||23:24 (132:07)
|Adam Pardy||9||149:21||573:36||16:36||16:31||0:07 (2:08)||6:19 (27:03)
|Jordie Benn||0||---||24:36||---||---||--- (0:09)||--- (0:00)|
- Robidas had the most time on ice per game that he's seen all season but he only had one goal and three assists. Shockingly, that would be the best numbers of any defensemen for the Stars this month.
- Goligoski had his worst month of the season. He played all 15 games and only managed to get two assists despite playing top line minutes in both even strength and power play time. It's really disappointing as February was his best month of the season.
- Trevor Daley. Bad as well with only three assists the entire month. His penalty minutes also took a huge leap. Before March, he had 22 PIM the entire season. In March alone, he had 20 PIM. It's all due to one game, the March 20 matchup against the Phoenix Coyotes. He took 16 PIM in that game, including a 10 minute misconduct.
- Sheldon Souray. One assist. Also, for some reason, Glen Gulutzan took Souray and his wonderbomb off of the power play.
- Philip Larsen. One goal and two assists. He took Souray's power play minutes and provided only one point on the man advantage (he had one power play goal).
- Fistric is Fistric. Expecting points from him would be a miracle. Case in point, he had fifth month of the season with no points. He has one assist on the year.
- Adam Pardy managed his best month (points-wise) for the season. He had two assists in March.
- For those of you keeping track' the totals for all the defensemen for the month of March: Two goals and 13 assists. Pitiful numbers for a group (especially the top guys) that can put numbers on the board.