Dallas Stars news & notes

The Dallas Stars host the Buffalo Sabres tonight at 7:30 p.m. CST. I will have a full preview up as part of the game thread. Be sure to check out SBN's Sabres blog, Die By The Blade, for an insider's look at the opponent.

Craig Custance of The Sporting News has says that the big win against Detroit could be the turning point in the season.

As much as people want to point to the booting of Sean Avery as a turning point for the Stars, the inconsistencies that plagued the Stars when Avery was on the team didn't disappear when he was removed.


They are 10-6-2 since Avery's removal. Figure through the funky NHL scoring system, and that's exactly two more wins than losses.
If you're looking for a better turning point in Dallas, how about Monday's game?

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Mike Heika gives out his midseason grades and they are way below expectations.

With an 18-17-6 record and not holding one of the Western Conference's eight playoff spots, the Stars are hardly where they thought they would be as they start the second half of the schedule tonight vs. Buffalo.

"I think our team has underachieved this season," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "There's a lot of room for improvement in a lot of areas."

The good news is that the Stars are definitely showing improvement and have started to really come together as a team the past few weeks. The big question is whether or not the team can build upon the momentum gained in the win against Detroit and make a serious push for a playoff spot.

Much more following the jump.

Jean-Jacques Taylor of the DMN gives his opinion on why the Stars have struggled.

You want to know why the Stars have struggled all season, just follow the money.

Brad Richards earns $7.8 million. Marty Turco earns $5.7 million. Mike Ribeiro earns $5 million.

None of them has played to his immense ability this season.

He goes on to say that while the Stars have vastly underachieved, the players and coaches all acknowledge this are accept the responsibility that team's season rests on their back. The game against Detroit is proof of what this team is capable of when it's star players live up to their potential.

They proved it the other day with a gritty 5-4, come-from-behind overtime win over Detroit. That's two wins in three games against the hated Red Wings.

All that does is prove the Stars can play a high level of hockey on a given night. To do so, they must play with the passion and desperation we usually only see on a nightly basis in the playoffs.

[snip]

The players who receive the most ice time must make the biggest difference, which is why the Stars beat Detroit.

With three minutes left, Richards made a nifty cross-ice pass to Ribeiro, who slipped a pass to Steve Ott, who couldn't have missed the wide-open net if he had tried. In overtime, Richards assisted on Trevor Daley's game-winner.

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DallasStars.com has an interesting fact from Detroit game.

Defensemen Nicklas Grossman, Stephane Robidas and Trevor Daley each scored a goal for the Stars in their 5-4 overtime win over the Red Wings on Monday night. In the team’s 15 seasons in Dallas, the only other time that three different Stars defensemen scored goals in the same game was on Dec. 5, 1995, when Derian Hatcher, Grant Ledyard and Richard Matvichuk each scored once in a 6-4 loss at Boston.

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Mark Stepneski from Andrew's Dallas Stars Page has a great article on the team's resurgence. He also gives the scoop on what lines to expect tonight against Buffalo.

Here were the forward lines used in Wednesday's practice. They are the same lines used in Monday's win over Detroit.

Forward Chris Conner dressed as a defenseman so the Stars could have eight defensemen for some of the practice drills.

Left Wing         Center             Right Wing

Lundqvist         Richards         Eriksson
Ott                    Ribeiro            Lehtinen
Neal                  Modano          Petersen
Barch               Sutherby          Parrish

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Mike Heika has his weekly newsletter up and addresses some of the moves the team could make leading up to the trade deadline. He also addresses one email question regarding the team's jersey design.

Q: I apologize if this question has been asked before, but here it goes: Who is in charge of the Stars' jersey designs?

The new RBK Edge jerseys aren't bad looking, but the newest third jersey leaves much to be desired. A lot of teams are going retro for their jerseys. So why don't the Stars do that for the North Stars days, or even the late '90s with the star over the shoulders? Does Tom Hicks own the right to the North Stars logos, or are they property of another group? I know a lot can go into owning a team name and its logo.

Cody C.

HEIKA: Cody, it's a great question – one that many fans want to know about.

The thought process on the third jersey was the Stars wanted to go with something simple and classic. Since they just changed to the new RBKs, they went with a white version of the black "DALLAS" sweater. I didn't like it at first, but it really is starting to grow on me. I like the simple look, and I think you have to go no stripes on the bottom with the shirt-tail RBK look.

As for why they went simple, my personal belief is they were so frightened by the fallout from the "Mooterus" jersey that they didn't want to take any chances.

My guess is the next one (two years? three years away?) will be more interesting. I don't think they will ever try to incorporate the North Stars logo into a sweater. That just doesn't fit with the organization's plans.

 

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