Is Tyler Seguin’s recent surge a result of Stars CEO Jim Lites’ comments, or was it bound to happen anyway?

Matthew DeFranks, Stars beat writer for and The Dallas Morning News, answers your questions about the team in a live chat at 2 p.m. Thursday. Here are some highlights.

Q: One may have expected the thrilling win over the Caps last Friday to propel the Stars forward this week, but that hasn’t exactly been the case. What does this team need to get that “jolt” once and for all?

DeFranks: This has been a weird week. Jim Montgomery has been disappointed after wins, and encouraged after losses. I’m sure part of it is trying to keep his team level-headed and keep them away from becoming too complacent with their play because of the results. There’s been plenty of things that haven’t gone well for the Stars this season: road record, first periods, third periods, goal-scoring, a few months ago it was the power play. Generally, Montgomery has said it was the team’s mentality that led to that, and the coaching staff has tried different things. We’ll see what they try next and if it’ll work. Secondary scoring again is a huge issue for the Stars, but looking at their roster, did they really expect anything different? Spezza seems to have lost his scoring ability over the past two season, Val has obviously been an issue (and was the year before he went back to Russia), Ritchie continues his struggles in many areas, Comeau has added nothing, and now Shore, Pitlick, and Janmark are struggling.

Q: We can’t ignore that Tyler Seguin has looked pretty good ever since Jim Lites’ comments last month. Thoughts on that?

DeFranks: Yeah, it’s quite something, huh? I think it would be naive to completely disregard Jim Lites’ comments. Hockey players are proud athletes. And they’re people, too. To think that Lites’ comments did not affect Seguin in some way, I think would be short-sighted. But I think that is a very, very small part of what is actually happening now. When I spoke to Lites a few weeks ago, I mentioned the posts and the shooting percentage that I’m sure we’re all aware of now. If not, that’s covered here. Lites said Seguin needed to get to the dirty areas more often. From my view, he’s been shooting from many of the same areas that he has all season. Sure, some of them are between the dots like management and coaching wanted. Some was good ole-fashioned Tyler Seguin one-timers or poor goaltending from Jake Allen that Seguin wasn’t getting early on. (Remember the overtime in Washington?) There is seldom one factor that leads to swings in performance, but I think this is more of a positive regression to Seguin’s mean than a drastic change in his play.

Q: How can you have that many players not scoring? Is it the system? We do not have good possession numbers and I thought that was the foundation for Montgomery’s system? Montgomery seems totally perplexed by the way as well.

DeFranks: From the outside, it was somewhat clear that the Stars needed more scoring from depth players. This is what I wrote before the season started. Early on, they were getting it from Jason Dickinson and Devin Shore. But now, Dickinson is hurt and Shore hasn’t scored since November. Tyler Pitlick had flashes late in December. Blake Comeau scored 54 goals in the last five season (359 games). That’s 0.15 goals per game. He’s at 0.09 this season, so underperforming his norms, but he wasn’t the answer to score 20 goals for Dallas anyway. So you’re right, the depth scoring is not there, and it’s been a hot-button issue, especially in light of Jim Lites’ comments on Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. As far as Montgomery, I think there is something in the Stars still adjusting to the system. The defense has come before the offense, but it’s still not good enough. “Traditional” possession figures like Corsi don’t matter to Montgomery, but the Stars are getting killed there. The staff tracks offensive zone time to help measure possession.

To view the full chat, click here.