Rather than try to backtrack and do a game recap for each game so far, here we’ll take a look at where we are after the first 13 games. Long story short, it isn’t pretty.So, should we be panicking? Let’s look at some data here real quick.
13 games into the season, we’re 4-6-3 with a total of 13 points. Currently below .500 and ranked second to last in the Central Division with a game in hand.
We’re at a -13 goal differential.
We’re tied for 18th in the League in Goals For. And probably not shocking, we’re 4th in the League in Goals Against.
Now, to say these numbers are concerning is a bit of an understatement. For some context, at this point last season we were 10-3-0. However, I hesitate to even use last year as any kind of measuring stick. The fact is that we are currently limping along trying to get through games while waiting for players to return to the lineup. At this point it’s almost (almost) comical how injured we are.
Last season, our struggle with defense and goaltending was rightfully scrutinized, especially come playoff time. But we were so successful due to our dynamic offensive abilities. We were able to outscore a lot of our defensive shortcomings (at least during the regular season).
So what happens when you’re lacking in the offense department? Janmark and Hemsky are out for the season, and Eakin is getting closer to returning, but he isn’t there yet. Sharp looks to be getting there after suffering a concussion, but hasn’t practiced with the team yet, and Spezza is still day to day. Hudler…well hopefully whatever virus he’s fighting clears up soon. But anyways, that’s 6 forwards we’re missing. Excluding Hudler, those players combined for 97 goals last season. 97 out of the 267 goals scored total by the team. That’s a little more than a 3rd. And that’s a huge loss I think we’re feeling all too much right now.
And that’s not even getting into our defense. Their inexperience has been exposed and put on display several times already. And our goaltending…well, we know it needs to be better, and we’ve known since last season.
So yeah, things are looking pretty bleak.
We are still only 13 games into the season. We all know how quickly a season can change. We will be getting some of our injured players back. Sharp I believe is even meeting the team during their Western Canada stretch. And Spezza looks like he’s ready to jump back into a game any minute. Plus, we know the Stars can play well. We saw it during the St. Louis game, and even during the Chicago games where we lost.
After an 8-2 loss (damn you, Laine), we’re allowed to panic a little bit. But it’s still way too early to write this season off.
So, we’ll take things game by game. See where we are when we get key players back. Hope that Jamie Benn gets hot. And pray our goalies pull through for us. It’s not a lot to ask…right?
Until next time,