Stargazing: What happens next?

Well after last night's games the Stars now sit in the eigth spot in the Western Conference, but are tied at 65 points with Minnesota, Edmonton and Anaheim. It's becomin an even tighter playoff race than before and it makes how the Stars handle these recent injuries all the more important.

There's no doubt that this team has the drive and motivation to play as well as they can. The question becomes do the Stars have enough internal chemistry to overcome injuries to some very vital and talented players? They will rely on Turco more than ever before and he may not get a day off for the rest of the season, or at least until the Stars' playoff fate is decided one way or the other.

Mark Stepneski takes a look at the standings and determines where exactly the Stars sit in terms of points percentage.

RK Team GP W L OTL PTS PTS%
San Jose 58 41 8 9 91 .784
Detroit 60 39 13 8 86 .717
Calgary 60 36 18 6 78 .650
Chicago 59 34 17 8 76 .644
Vancouver 60 30 22 8 68 .567
6 Dallas 59 29 23 7 65 .551
Minnesota 59 30 24 5 65 .551
8 Edmonton 60 30 25 5 65 .542
9 Columbus 61 30 25 6 66 .541
10 Anaheim 62 30 27 5 65 .524
11 Los Angeles 59 26 24 9 61 .517
12 Nashville 61 29 28 4 62 .508
13  St. Louis 60 26 26 8 60 .500
14  Phoenix 61 27 29 5 59 .484
15  Colorado 61 28 32 1 57 .467

With Chris Conner and Tobias Stephan officially recalled the Stars now have a full roster of 13 forwards, 8 defensemen and 2 goalies. Expect Conner to go back to his right wing spot on Modano's line and Parrish and Sawada to alternate on the fourth. If lines at practice are any indication of what they'll be at the game tomorrow night then we should expect this:

Ott - Ribeiro - Lehtinen
Neal - Modano - Conner
Lundqvist - Eriksson - Brunnstrom
Barch-Sutherby-Sawada/Parrish

The Stars are facing yet another critical three games in four days stretch this weekend, starting with the Blues tomorrow night. The Stars will face Anaheim on Saturday and Pittsburgh on Sunday. Based on the look of the standings above, saying these games are important is an understatement.

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Mike Heika over on the DMN Stars blog starts to take a look at various trade prospects for the Stars. He brings up one guy I didn't mention yesterday: Derek Morris.

Richard Durrett gives a report on last night's highly successful casino night.

Darryl Reaugh takes a look at games 40-60, the real telling point of how good a team is.

Around the West: Results from last night's games

Anaheim 3, Buffalo 2
Montreal 3, Vancouver 0
Calgary 4, Columbus 1
Edmonton 5, Tampa Bay 3
Los Angeles 2, Minnesota 1 (SO)
Nashville 5, Chicago 3
St. Louis 2, Phoenix 1
Atlanta 4, Colorado 3

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