With the St. Louis Blues officially in shambles this season, odd rumors have started to float around the NHL. Alex Pietrangelo to Toronto has made the rounds, as has an interesting tidbit about the availability of Vladimir Tarasenko. The money quote comes from GM Doug Armstrong, courtesy of The Athletic’s Jeremy Rutherford. Armstrong, you see, “is in a situation where all bets are off.”
If that truly is the case, there is absolutely no excuse for general manager Jim Nill not to move heaven and earth for the talented Russian winger. His name is out there, and is not being preceded by “hands off.”
First, the easy part: Why do the Dallas Stars need Vladimir Tarasenko? Answer: their offense is lousy. Even after Monday’s victory over the visiting Calgary Flames, the Dallas Stars rank 25th in total goals for (94), 26th if we break things out by game (2.76), and 24th in total shots (29.7). Not great, Bob.
But it gets worse.
While a recent flurry has upgraded Dallas’ powerplay into the league’s top half (14th – 21.1%), that number is undercut significantly by the fact that Dallas is dead last in terms of powerplay opportunities (90).
Digging through stats is like Christmas dinner with your wildly-disappointed mother. More than half (9) of Dallas’ wins (17) have come despite being outshot by their opponent, they’re near the bottom of the NHL at scoring at even strength (61 goals – 24th), 5-on-4 (19 goals – 17th), and have yet to tally with a two-man advantage (seriously, how is that a thing?).
It’s not a luck thing, either. Dallas’ PDO is a “what you see is what you get” 100.4, or barely above average. They are exactly what their record suggests.