Stargazing: Stars fall flat against the Kings

Stargazing is a daily assortment of Dallas Stars  and Texas Stars news, and whatever other random ramblings are bouncing around inside our heads. Note: These posts are not intended to be in-depth analysis articles, but rather a gathering of news from around the internet on the Dallas Stars.

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That game was every bit as surprising as the one before it. Like Brandon said after the Chicago game, I didn't see this coming. This team has shown great periods of effort, focus and organization, but last night fell flat on their faces once again. Try as I might to look at that game objectively and glean the reasons for the way things unfolded, I find myself at a loss.

We could turn it into an X's and O's thing if you want, but I would speak of heart and effort after a game like that.

Let's just assume that we're not talking about Mike Ribeiro, Brenden Morrow, or Jamie Benn this morning. While it's a shame they couldn't find the net more than just the once, they played a fine game.

You can make a lot of excuses for that dung pile last night, but I think they all fall flat. The group the Stars iced can be better than that. They've shown it. They showed it in Chicago. Even without Brad Richards, Mike Modano, Steve Ott, and Jere Lehtinen, there was more than enough talent on display last night for Dallas to get it done against Kopitar, Smyth, and some other dudes wearing purple.

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Jonathan Quick told Kings Insider exactly what went down:

QUICK: "(The Stars) got a couple opportunities there on the power play, and then from there on out, the team just shut them down. They couldn’t generate anything. We were forcing them to take some penalties and we capitalized on our opportunities.’’

"They couldn't generate anything." Quite right.

After the jump...more on this for some reason:

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Mike Heika says the Stars lack of depth last night did them in:

You guys can argue Marty Turco all you want, but I really think you're missing the point tonight.

What we saw in a 4-1 loss to the Kings, in my opinion, is one of the bottom five teams in the league in actual money spent (around $45 million) missing four key players, and having absolutely no depth at all. With 22-year-old Perttu Lindgren in the lineup, the Stars had nine players 24 or younger, and those were the players making the mistakes.

Turco played well enough to win. Brenden Morrow and Mike Ribeiro played well enough to win. Stephane Robidas played well enough to win. I didn't mind Toby Petersen or Brian Sutherby or Karlis Skrastins.

My questions are these: Where is the Tom Wandell we saw earlier this year in Edmonton and Calgary? Where the heck is Loui Eriksson? Didn't Fabian Brunnstrom score 17 goals last season? I think these guys can do better.

He's right about Marty Turco though, folks.

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Mike Ribeiro blames that disastrous second period:

"This is a league where all 30 teams are going to be tough, where you can beat the best team and get beat by any other team on any given night, and we have to realize that," said center Mike Ribeiro. "We had a great start, and we were good at the end, but you can't just go to sleep for 10 or 15 minutes like we did. You can't do that and expect to win."

Stephane Robidas knows they shoudn't make excuses:

"We've got guys who can do the job, and we believe in those guys," said defenseman Stephane Robidas. "You can't look at who's not in the lineup. You've got to control what you can control."

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The Kings scratched Frolov last night. A healthy scratch at that. It must be nice to have enough healthy bodies around to send a message like that:

``And any time you make a change in your lineup, whether it’s a fourth-line guy or a top-line player or a defenseman, you’re only doing it for the team. There needs to be a message that’s taken, for everybody.’’

Brown said Murray informed him in the morning that he would be taking Frolov out of the lineup.

``That doesn’t normally happen with one of our better players,’’ Brown said, ``but for the guys in here, it’s an opportunity for other guys to step up and play well, and I think we did that. The team, obviously we want Fro on board. That’s something they’re going to have to deal with, management and all that. Obviously we want Fro in here, but at the same time, he needs to bring his `A’ game.’’

If the Stars had a body to spare (a dead corpse, a manikin, a Modano,  etc...) who would you sit to send a message? Would it help? Isn't Marc Crawford supposed to be this mean guy who yells a lot?

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Mike Modano would have helped last night, I think. Look at Tom Wandell's +/- and tell us Modano wouldn't have helped. Sadly, it seems we won't be seeing him any time soon as his freak stick-in-the-ribs-accident is turning into a much bigger deal:

Mike Modano was flying through a morning skate practice Friday and looking good, whipping shots on net, flipping backhand passes to teammates and skating with the natural stride that looks all too smooth for 39-year-old legs.

And then it happened.

"I tried a one-timer from [Mike] Ribeiro, and it just fell apart," Modano said of a tweak to a rib injury that has kept him out since the season's first game.

The Stars won 46% of their faceoffs last night against the Kings, one of the leagues worst on the dot.

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On something that more closely resembles a personal note, I'd like to say something about the Stars play at the American Airlines Center: It sucks. I understand that when I buy season tickets, I am not guaranteed a certain number of wins. I know that when the Cub Scout troop sitting in the row behind me comes to watch the only hockey game they will this season, (or maybe ever) they're not promised the team won't lose 5-0. I know we're not owed anything, that the ticket buys only admittance to the building, and a seat in which to sit....but I still think that this is really lousy.

The players can't be worried about putting on a good show. They should only be worried about the next shift. We get that. But people are coming to have a look, and they're leaving. They're not coming back. This is Texas. It's football season. You get a big crowd in there on Friday and you throw out a stinker? You get a decent crowd for a Monday last night and again...stinker?

The team is trying to win. The players are doing the best they can. Again, we know that. But when it comes time to add up all the beans at seasons end, so that you can convince Tom Hicks to put some money back into the roster, a few victories at home to drum up some repeat business might be a good idea, fellas.

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