There have been plenty of issues for the Dallas Stars in a disappointing 2016-2017 campaign that has them tied for third-to-last in the Western Conference nine days into March.
But goaltending can be pinpointed as a primary pitfall for the defending Western Conference champions.
In their combined 67 starts, goalies Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi have totaled 15 “Really Bad Starts,” a stat measuring starts with a save percentage below 85 percent. Lehtonen and Niemi rank 39th and 44th, respectively, in goals against average.
Neither of those is a good thing. But why have they been so bad in net?
It starts with rebound percentage. Over the past three seasons, both of the Stars’ netminders rank in the bottom 10 percent of the NHL’s regular goalies in controlling rebounds.
The logic is simple: The more second opportunities you give up near the net, the more chances opponents have at easy goals -- and the more your save percentage will plummet.
WinnersView has the breakdown on the crucial stat that is crippling the Stars in net:
In the Stars' Wednesday night home loss to the Ottawa Senators, one of the five goals allowed came off a rebound. A second came on an own-goal when a puck deflected off a Stars player in front of the net.
If Dallas wants to climb back up the standings in 2017-2018, stopping second-chance goals will be a good place to start.
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