Stargazing: Dallas Stars/Predators Wrap Up

Stargazing is a daily assortment of Dallas Stars  and Texas Stars news, and whatever other random ramblings are bouncing around inside our heads.

I think last night's game is how Joe Nieuwendyk drew it up in his head.

Creative, up tempo offense? Check. An improved Marty Turco? Check. Better special teams? Check. Everything we heard about all summer long was on display last night at the American Airlines Center and I think we really like what we saw. The problem now is duplicating it against Boston.

While the Stars work on that for Friday night, we'll turn our attention to another problem plaguing fans of this great game: Television. Dish Network subscribers found themselves in a pickle last night. Verizon FiOS customers are apparently going to miss games as well. You know all about Directv and Versus. Why, oh why, is it so hard to watch hockey?

All of these things and more on Stargazing...

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The Stars shut out Nashville's top line last night, and took it to them at the other end of the ice. Dirk Hoag explains:

The Predators had four separate power play opportunities against the league's worst penalty killing unit, but in eight minutes only mustered 6 shots on goal.  Jason Arnott and Patric Hornqvist led Nashville with 5 shots apiece, but the top line was also victimized by the Stars; Steve Sullivan was a -3 for the night, while Arnott and Hornqvist were -2, to go along with Ryan Suter and Shea Weber.

Marty Turco, who came into the game with an atrocious .880 save percentage, earned his 37th career shutout. Six different Stars enjoyed multi-point nights.

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Last night, several of you in the game thread comments were discovering that the game was "blacked out," where it's never been blacked out before. This was kept awfully quiet, but the truth came to light. Said Jeff Miller last night:

Dish Network customers in Dallas and the surrounding area won’t receive the Stars-Nashville game being telecast by Fox Sports Southwest.

Fox SW increased this season’s schedule to 61 games and, according to the Stars, increased the charge paid by local cable and satellite systems. Dish was the only carrier that declined to pay the increase and is currently scheduled to miss out on 20 games, including tonight and Friday night’s home game against Boston.

Don't think you're safe because you don't have Dish. You'll still miss 5 games on Versus with Directv, and now apparently another DFW area service will have you missing a different chunk of games.

Mike Heika addressed the issue this morning, and has a nice discussion going in the comments.

But things get even more complicated with regards to your request. Because FSSW also does Rockets, Spurs and college football and basketball games, I believe some of the games going forward that FSSW has rights to will be offered on Fox Sports-Plus (the ``Deuce'' of the Fox Sports nation). And I believe Verizon Fios does not offer Fox Sports-Plus. I believe fans with Verizon Fios will not get Saturday's game in Chicago, for example.

Verizon FiOS? The fiber optic provider of choice for yours truly, has all kinds of bandwidth and can't offer an alternate FSN+ channel? The problem of course, is money and ratings. Hockey doesn't justify its own cost with it's poor ratings.

Then there's the question of why half of the games aren't in high definition. Mike touches that here as well.

It's all part of being a hockey fan in Texas, I suppose. Please let me know in the comments if I can come to your house, and drink your beer, and watch the games that are on FSN+. Apparently I can't watch them at my house.

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Meanwhile, John Glennon of the Tennessean says the Predators envy the Stars scoring depth:

Through five games, only four Predators forwards have produced points — Jason Arnott, Patric Hornqvist, Steve Sullivan and J.P. Dumont. All have been playing on the first line when they registered those points.

In comparison, the Stars — who've also played five games — have points from 12 different forwards.

"We had some great chances and they're just not going in,'' Predators Coach Barry Trotz said. "You look right now at Dallas' lineup and they've got 14 or 15 guys who've contributed offensively. We've got four guys. That's a big difference.

He also has the unenviable task of trying to figure out just what that team can build off after a game like that:

Here's the biggest challenge for the Predators as they try to right a foundering ship five games into the season: What exactly do they build on, after Wednesday's 6-0 pummeling by the Dallas Stars?

It's certainly not their offense, as the Predators have scored just seven goals— one via shootout — through the first five games.

It's not defense and goaltending, not after surrendering a combined 12 goals in the past two games.

And it's certainly not special teams, not with a power play that's scored once in five games and a penalty kill that's allowed six goals during that same stretch.

While I don't feel sorry for the Predators, I do feel for people who have to write about teams playing like the Predators.

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In news of the weird (or depressing?) it seems that the Stars had acquired D-man Kyle Quincey last year, but later passed:

Kyle Quincey is one of the NHL's fastest-rising defensemen. After six games with his new team, the Colorado Avalanche, he's actually tied for the team lead in points with six. But he almost never made it onto the team.

The Fourth Period is reporting that Quincey was traded to the Dallas Stars from the Detroit Red Wings at the very beginning of last season, but he failed his physical and the deal fell apart. "The Stars' doctor saw my MRI and saw the herniated disk, and they said they didn't want to deal with it," Quincey told the Fourth Period.

Imagine yet another young talent buzzing around here. (Should I mention Crombeen again for fun? No?) Ah well.

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Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars - The latest in a long line of young forwards being brought onto the Dallas roster one season at a time (after Jussi Jokinen, Loui Eriksson and James Neal), Benn is probably going to be the best one yet. He's seeing about seven more minutes per game of ice time than Fabian Brunnstrom, so he's already climbing the depth chart faster than Leaf goaltenders.

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