Stars believe power play results will come
January, 20, 2012
By Mark Stepneski | ESPNDallas.com
FRISCO -- The numbers say the power play isn’t clicking for the Dallas Stars. But the Stars believe they are doing a lot of good things with the man-advantage and the numbers will eventually start to turn their way.
“I think sometimes everyone gets so results based – and it is results based business – however results just don’t always turn on a dime,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “Our power play has created chances. We’ve had guys at the net, we’ve hit posts and they just haven’t gone in. “
The Stars are 4-41 (9.8%) on the power play over the last 13 games. Heading into Thursday’s night’s game they were at 14.1 percent for the season, ranking 26th in the league.
The power play, which is missing two key players at the moment in Mike Ribeiro and Jamie Benn, has scored in two of the last four games and those goals were key in helping the Stars get points.
“I think we have been consistently better at getting chances and getting zone time,” said Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski. “Earlier in the season we were having problems with our breakout and we couldn’t get pucks back. We’ve been a lot better at that. We’re obviously in a funk but you just keep doing the things you have to do to get out of it.”
The Stars got some results Tuesday, getting people and pucks to the net and they got a puck to go in off the stick of captain Brenden Morrow.
“It’s simple,” said Goligoski. “It’s how you score.”
The Stars’ other power play in that game was cut short by a penalty on Dallas, something that’s happened a bit too often for Gulutzan’s tastes. Four times over the last nine games the Stars have been taken off a power play by a penalty.
But overall, the Stars think they are doing plenty of good things, and think things eventually will start to go their way.
“That tide will change. It will change at some point,” Gulutzan said. “You look at Tampa Bay, who we’re playing [Friday], their power play is right around ours at 14 percent. With the same personnel – (Steven) Stamkos, (Vincent) Lecavalier, (Martin) St. Louis and (Ryan) Malone standing in front, they ran 20.5 percent and were sixth in the league last year. What do you attribute that to? It just happens and sometimes confidence is a big thing on the power play. You get one or two to go in and you need some basic structure to do it, but power plays can be fickle. They can get hot and cold.”
Said Goligoski: “There are games where we hit four pipes on the power play. You do the right things consistently and eventually everything will shake out and you’ll be where you want to be.”
Notes: Larsen activated
*Stars defenseman Philip Larsen, who has missed the last eight games with a concussion, has been activated from injured reserve. He will be available to play Friday, but may not play until Saturday.
*Defensemen Stephane Robidas (foot) and Sheldon Souray (foot) did not practice Thursday, but are expected to play Friday.
*Kari Lehtonen is expected to start in goal for the Stars Friday.
Stars in back-to-backs
The Stars will play their eighth set of back-to-back games this season, hosting Tampa Bay Friday and then playing at Minnesota on Saturday.
The Stars are 3-3-1 in first games of back-to-back sets this season and 0-6-1 in the second game.