Two weeks after Stars president Jim Lites ripped his star players, his coach, Jim Montgomery, expressed frustration over not being able to “change the culture of mediocrity” surrounding his team.
The Stars have lost two games in a row — 2-1 on Thursday to the league-worst Flyers and 3-1 on Saturday to the Blues, who with 42 points are four points ahead of Philadelphia.
“I’m very frustrated that I have not been able to gain consistency in our performance, and I haven’t been able to change the culture of mediocrity,” Montgomery told reporters Saturday after the loss.
Dallas sits third in the Central Division, but their play has been inconsistent.
► They have won more than two games in a row only twice this season.
► They are 23-19-4 with a minus-one goal differential.
► They have scored 2.63 goals per game, which ranks 28th in the NHL, scoring two or fewer goals 26 times.
► They have allowed 2.65 goals per game, which ranks fifth.
► Their .929 team save percentage is No. 1.
► They are 26th in Corsi percentage, an indication of puck possession, at 47.2, according to Corsica.hockey. They are also 18th in expected goals-for percentage.
Montgomery, in his first season as an NHL head coach, has not received full buy-in from his players.
“Unfortunately, there’s been too many times where we have to think about, ‘How do we motivate these guys?’ Montgomery said. “That’s a problem in and of itself, that we’ve had to do that so many times already.”
Lites spoke in late December of how he and owner Tom Gaglardi were angry about the lack of production from stars Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin in an expletive-laden tirade. (Seguin has 17 goals and 43 points, which lead the team, while Benn has a team-leading 18 goals and 33 points.)
“We all have to look in the mirror, right? Just like I am in front of you guys right now,” Montgomery said. “I can only reflect on how I need to be better. I can’t reflect on what they’re thinking and how they need to improve. I can make suggestions.”