The Stars set off on this West Coast road trip after the worst homestand in franchise history. Five straight home losses had dropped the Stars out of the top eight in the conference and the Stars once again found themselves having to claw their way back into playoff contention. There was a lot of question marks surrounding this team, most importantly just how this team could play moving forward without Brad Richards. The early evidence wasn't encouraging and the Dallas Stars were fighting a bad case of lost confidence and an inability to score.
After gaining five of a possible six points and beating San Jose and Anaheim in regulation, the Dallas Stars are right back in the mix in the playoff race and should head back home feeling good about themselves and the direction of the team. While it wasn't the smoothest of road trips (the game in Los Angeles was yet another demoralizing defeat at the Staples Center) the Stars were successful in what they needed to do as a team and are set once again to claim their spot in the playoffs.
Most importantly, after last night's win the Stars moved back into eighth spot in the West. Here's the latest look at the standings:
Of course every game in more important than the last at this point, but in the next five games the Stars will play St. Louis, Vancouver and Minnesota as well as two teams fighting for playoff positioning in the East in Montreal and Carolina. There are just 17 games left in the season and the Stars are in the thick of eight teams fighting for four spots. The Stars need to build upon the momentum gained this past week and find some way to put together a run like they enjoyed in January.
It will be much easier on everyone's nerves if they can.
Dallas Stars news and notes:
- Mike Heika asks whether this team thrives on rising from the dead and overcoming adversity.
- Andrew's Dallas Stars Page has notes and stats from last night's game.
- James Mirtle has the updated standings on the push for 90 points in the West, stating that the Stars need to go 10-7-0 to reach the mark that generally spells a playoff berth.
- Darryl Reaugh goes over all the games the Stars have actually rallied in to steal points throughout the seson.
- Brendan Morrison is fitting in well with the team.
- Mark Stepneski gives his thoughts on last night's win.
- Dallas Morning News game recap.
- ASP game recap.
- OC Register game recap.