Who kept the Stars from having a really solid week? THE FATHER OF CINDY LOU WHO! That’s who! (No pun intended).
Mike Leggo, who looks very much like the father of Cindy Lou Who from the 2000 version of ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’, negated a goal that would have put the Stars up 3-0. So basically, a guy that proved to be the peace of mind that reasoned with the Grinch’s dirty deed proved to be the hypocritical barrier that turned around and stole two points from the Stars. Do they even play hockey in Whoville? How in the world does he know anything about the sport?
Instead of a victory against the worst franchise in the history of sports, the Stars had to settle for one point in a 3-2 shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks.
Protest the loss, Lindy. Protest the loss.
I kid, I kid. The Stars played four games this week, earning a total of five points. For those who struggle with math, that’s 1.25 points per game. The Wild, who are playing at a pace of 1.21 points per game, are currently eighth in the West. So, the Stars were good enough this week, right? I guess so. It’s going to be a long, long season if we’re living and dying by the points per game statistic, which we’re most likely going to have to do. Buckle up, ladies and gentleman.
If you would have told me that they would earn 5 of the next 6 possible points following that atrocious display of hockey that we saw in Denver on Monday (6-1 loss to Colorado), I would’ve laughed loudly and right in your face. But here I sit, writing an article on how they did exactly that. I think that shows a lot.
Because I was en route from Lincoln, Nebraska to DFW on Tuesday night, I don’t know a whole lot about what went on in the latter half of the home-and-home with the Avalanche. But, we did learn that all of you crying about Ray Whitney needing to be released must’ve forgotten that ‘The Wizard’, despite his age, can still be invaluable to the team. Also: Colton Sceviour; I wrote about him last week, detailing how he had scored his first NHL goal against Winnipeg. Now, he’s on a tear not all too dissimilar from Alex Chaisson’s when he came up last season. Keep an eye on him this season. But, no matter who the contributors were on Tuesday, to see the Stars respond to that Monday night game in the manner that they did was impressive, and proof that these guys have something.
Building on their momentum from Tuesday, the Stars took care of Vancouver on Thursday night. The 4-1 victory was one of the most complete games they’ve played all season. Vancouver came into the as one of the hottest teams in the NHL, but the Stars netted two early goals and cruised on to victory, with Kari Lehtonen earning his second consecutive home victory (which is pretty darn rare, believe it or not). The two games on Tuesday and Thursday are a good representation of what the Stars are going to need to do after the holiday break: win home games. They’re going to have a lot of them, and they need to take a majority of the points if they’re interested at all in the playoffs.
On a not-so-bright note, the Texas Stars have taken over the Dallas blue line. I’m not joking. It seems like each game is going to include a significant injury on the Dallas defense. Last night, against San Jose, it was Sergei Gonchar who took a puck to the head and is now out for a bit with concussion-like symptoms. These are the kinds of things the Stars must avoid, especially with a guy like Gonchar, who is beginning to hit his stride and prove to be a vital piece to the team. Hopefully his absence won’t be lengthy.
However, it isn’t necessarily the worst thing for the Stars to endure these injuries on the blue line. These prospects who have been developing in the organization’s farm system are gaining some invaluable experience that is going to significantly contribute to their NHL development. Guys like Guance, Oleksiak, and Connauton are all pieces of the future to this team, and being able to put them smack-dab in the middle of an NHL season is going to allow them to make strides in their development.
I think this week was a step in the right direction for your Dallas Stars, fighting through a little bit of adversity to produce a statistically desirable week in their quest to end the playoff drought. With wins against the Avs and Canucks, and a well-earned point against San Jose, I think you can look forward to what the Stars have to offer in the coming months.
STAT OF THE WEEK: Ray Whitney scored three goals this week, making his goals per week to age ratio 0.073/1. Chalk it up to fancy stats.
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