Positives and Negatives from the Stars loss in Boston

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 14: Luke Glendening #11 of the Dallas Stars skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on October 14, 2021 in New York City. The Stars defeated the Rangers 3-2 in the shootout. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Dallas Stars took their first loss of the season to the Boston Bruins in Boston. Although the Stars were outshot 40-28, the game was much closer than the scores and statistics indicated. The Stars kept pace with Boston, despite injuries to core members of the lineup. Jason Robertson and John Klingberg were both missing from Saturday’s lineup. Roberston sustained an injury during the preseason, and Klingberg fell into the board awkwardly during the game Thursday night. Throughout the game, the Stars were in a position to tie, and even win, against the Bruins. Let’s break down the positives and negatives from the Stars loss on Saturday night.

The Positives

Braden Holtby was automatic last night. Holby left Thursday’s game against the New York Rangers after he felt dehydrated. Against the Bruins he made 37 saves, including a sprawling save when he left the net to retrieve a pass. Any doubts stemming from his dull 2020-21 season are now gone.

The bottom-six have been quality point producers. Tanner Kero had a breakout game last night. Although he didn’t register a shot in the contest, he was letting the puck fly. He set up Luke Glendening about halfway through the second period for a goal to tie the game. Kero had ten points through 39 games last season, adding 31 hits. His offensive production is promising that he won’t become a one-dimensional player.

Luke Glendening was a terror for the Bruins last night. He had the Stars’ only goal of the game, netting a shot from the slot past Jake Swayman. Glendening’s other shot came while he was on the penalty kill. Glendening is replacing Andrew Cogliano, who left in free agency this offseason. Cogliano had 11 points through 59 with Dallas last season.

The Negatives

The Stars are yet to be in total health. When teams add new players in the offseason, they need time to gain chemistry between them. Injuries are hurtful to this process because it causes lines to be changed. Without set lines, players can be moved around the lineup without warning. This causes the offense to be jittery and underperform.

The loss of Robertson has played a part in the lack of the Stars production. Coach Rick Bowness has been frustrated with the top two lines stating that he needs more out of them. They went 0-6 on the powerplay against the Bruins, including an 11-second 5-on-3 powerplay. The Bruins were a tough defensive team as they ranked 10th on the penalty kill last season. The powerplay is also missing Klingberg, who usually quarterbacks on the man advantage. Besides shots from Ryan Suter, the penalty looked flat.

The top lines need to be shooting more towards the net. Robertson has an innate ability to drive to the net to play for a rebound. The Stars are missing that mentality on the top units. Kero set up the Glendening goal by shooting, as Glendening was a threat to score all night.

The Verdict

The beginning of the Stars’ season comes different problems from last season. Robertson and Klingberg, who were pivotal players last year, are injured. Part of the reason the Stars missed the postseason was the lack of production from their third and fourth lines. While the top lines having support, now they are the ones that need to step up. It is way too early in the season to start panicking, and the coaching of Rick Bowness will liven up the lines

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