Well, if there's one positive to take away from yesterday is that the Stars' new LW/C arrived in Dallas last night and and settled into the locker room after the game. As I mentioned yesterday, Begin (pronounced bay-ZHIN) was one of the most well liked players in the Canadiens' system and was always a fan favorite. Things had been tumultuous in Montreal for a while and he had told Bob Gainey that if he wasn't in the long term plans for the team, then send him somewhere he can make a difference.
While Begin certainly won't become the finishing scorer the Stars desperately need, he does fill a hole that was left open wide with the injuries to Brad Richards and Toby Petersen. He will also be another classy, team-oriented player that could breathe some life into a locker that seems to be gasping for air right now. This is an important time in the Stars' season and they will need all the help they can get down the stretch. Once again, Les Jackson and Brett Hull have pulled off a subtle but very important move. It should also be noted that Doug Janik was immediately assigned to the AHL upon his arrival in Montreal.
Begin talked to reporters last night after the game and I'm sure he was a bit surprised by the different atmosphere surrounding the team, especially after a loss. Coming from Montreal, where the press crowd the locker room, it might take him some getting used to the underwhelming amount of reporters. Here is what he had to say:
I practiced with Montreal this morning, we flew to Philadelphia and on my way off the plane the coach tapped me on the shoulder and told me I just traded here to Dallas.
I haven't played in two weeks, so it was tough in Montreal. I was expecting it. I was waiting for it. But when it happened it was shock. It was a good day. ... I am excited to be here.
Begin had been a healthy scratch for the last five games.
I bring energy. I play hard. I finish my checks. I won't quit. I like to win. That's why I am excited to be here because they are a great bunch of guys.
I'm excited. I can't wait to skate with the guys tomorrow. It's been a long day, it's always a shock when you are traded but I can't wait to get started here. I haven't had a chance to talk to the coaches but that will come tomorrow. I play a simple game, up and down, and I try and bring a lot of energy. I am a defensive player, I enjoy working on the PK. I was in a similar situation in Montreal. It's been crazy there the last few weeks. I was there for six years and it was a great experience playing there, but I have a new group and a new city now. I can't wait to play against Montreal next week.
On being scratched the past few games:
It's always tough when you're not playing. You want to help the team. I sat out the last five games and I haven't played in two weeks. It's always tougher when you're a healthy scratch. I don't have any injuries or nothing. I'll try to get my confidence back as quick as possible and get back in game shape as quick as possible.
Follow the jump for player quotes from last night and an updated look at the Western Conference standings.
Here's a look at the standings in the West after last night.
In their next five games the Stars will play Anaheim twice and Los Angeles once. They must find some way, any way to get out of this scoring slump and put some wins back in the left-hand column. Quite possibly, the Stars' season could be determined in the next five to seven games.
What's amazing is that the race has become so tight even Colorado, in last place, still has a good shot at making a run for the playoffs.
Some player and coach quotes from last night:
You can say we've got a lot of hurt guys and you can say we've got a lot of road games, but that's no excuse. We still have 20 capable guys in this room. We have no choice if we want to make the playoffs…we have to keep pushing, and we have to find a way to get it done.
All the power play guys definitely have to look at themselves over the next few days. That one's definitely frustrating. You talk about putting the work effort in, but you have to capitalize. We had some chances and we hit some posts, but the race is so ridiculously tight right now. I had a handful of chances right on the doorstep. We hit four different posts. It's just not good enough. We've got to put pucks in the net and win games.
You've got to try to keep your poise and stay strong. You have to learn from this. We have to be better, that's all. As a team, as individuals, we have to be better. We put ourselves in this situation, and we have to get ourselves out.
We score one, and we let them come back in the third. It's really disappointing. You've got to try and keep your poise and stay strong and keep making the plays that count. I think when you work hard and you do the right things, eventually things will go your way.
We can't look at the past and say 'We should've done this, we should've done that,' or 'I wish we had that guy.' You've got to look within the locker room.
We had a lot of chances that we have to bury. We hit a lot of posts and it's frustrating for sure. We have some guys with opportunities to play and the work ethic is there, we just need to capitalize on the chances.
We are generating chances on the power play, but we have to finish. We have to score some goals. Our margin for error is very slim, and all three goals we allowed were on our stick with a chance to clear them. We didn't score, made mistakes and hit more posts the last two games than I can remember. All three goals we allowed were on our stick with a chance to clear them. We didn't score, made mistakes, and we've hit more posts the last two games than I can remember. We are generating chances on the power play, but we have to finish.