The Dallas Stars will be a one-liner for much of the 2021-22 season.top three Rupp Hintz, Joe Pavelski and Jason Robertson accounted for nearly 60 percent of the team’s offense in the first four months. While it’s a blessing to have such a dynamic line, deep scoring is necessary to win on a consistent basis. With the sheer number of strong defensive forwards, away matchups, and a season of plenty of games, teams need to find a way to score points, not just from the top line.For Dallas, this is Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin Come in.
Throughout the season, Ben and Seguin have been moving up and down the lineup to find the right chemistry and production. Now, their reunion at last in the second tier is key to the team’s continued success.
Benn & Seguin are still young superstars
Benn (32) and Seguin (29) should still be at their peak. Both players had stellar NHL careers, leading teams to score, win awards, and find ways to be elite. However, over the past few seasons, their production has dropped significantly. Yes, both players have had multiple surgeries. Yes, the stars have been transformed into more defensive structures. Yes, the league is getting younger every year. However, elite players have found a way to remain elite into their 30s, so Benn and Seguin need to find a way to do the same.
“I haven’t seen enough (from top players),” Rick Bowness said. “We need them to attack. Our top players are not consistently finding their game. There are some good transitions, but too many transitions, they are not involved enough in the game, they are not having an impact on the outcome of the game. Some people haven’t found their ‘A’ game yet, and that applies to that group, and we need them to find it fast.”
look at Joe Pavelski. He’s 37, has played more than 1,100 games, found a way to play nearly 82 games a year, and is currently in all offensive categories after his first career 5-point night earlier this week. All ahead of the star team. Although he is an extreme example, the fact remains. Elite players should be long-term elite players.
Let’s not forget that Benn won the Art Ross Trophy in the regular season only a few years ago. Seguin is close behind with 80 points in 82 games in 2018-19. Both players still have skills, so what’s the problem? Is it faith? Are there deeper health problems that we don’t know about? Does structure really hinder their offensive talent? These questions remain unanswered.
related: Stars need more from top players
While the Stars are one of the best defensive teams in the league, they do provide a lot of scoring opportunities. Yet every time we see the old Benn & Seguin, it seems to go away just as fast.
The team goes where Benn and Seguin take them
It’s no secret that both Benn and Seguin are leaders on this team. Benn has been the captain since 2013, and Seguin wore an “A” on his sweater since his arrival from the Boston Bruins. When these two players are skating well, playing aggressively, and having fun on the ice, the rest of the team follows. Last season, whenever Benn started sliding well at center, his team started winning games. In fact, if you look at the numbers over the past few seasons, almost every successful star team has seen solid numbers from the captain.
Speaking of Seguin, there really aren’t any excuses at this point. He’s four months into the game after surgery, is not yet 30 years old, and has all the skills needed to be the league’s offensive leader. During this season, it’s clear he’s frustrated and expects more from himself.
“Sometimes it’s frustrating because I can’t play the kind of games I’ve played in the past,” Seguin said. “I’m still trying to find a balance between muck and grinder and find a more fluid style for my game.
New line for Seguin, Benn and Gurianov
Before Denis Gurianov was placed on the COVID protocol list this week, he was placed in the second row along with Benn and Seguin. Almost instantly, the line caught fire. In the three games they skated together, the trio scored 12 points, had plenty of high-stakes scoring opportunities, and was arguably the best lineup in a nightly game. Unfortunately, COVID has put that chemistry on hold for now, but maybe this combination is just what it takes to get Seguin, Benn, and even Gurianov out of their fears.
“When Jamie played center, he found an extra step,” Seguin said. “Jamie and I may have had 30 teammates when we were in Dallas, but Curie is a player with such a high ceiling. If we can get us a triple, I think we can dominate the rest of the year. “
For the Stars, they certainly hope this is the dominant line for the rest of the year. Because of the weight on the top line, the second scoring line is critical to a team’s success. At the end of the day, Ben and Seguin are the key. They have more offensive production power and the full support of a team that will follow them.
Sam Nestler is a “Hockey Writer” contributor for the Dallas Stars. Sam grew up in New Jersey and has been playing hockey since he was 7 years old. Sam developed a love of writing in college, using his hockey knowledge to analyze and write articles on all aspects of the game. Sam also hosts his own podcast on Spotify, the “Slapshot Sammy” podcast, breaking the NHL and NCAA action.View the podcast here, and read his latest article!