Stargazing: Coming home after a successful road trip

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:

#
GP W L   OT PTS GF GA HOME AWAY L10
1 SAN JOSE* 63 42 11   10 94 209 156 26-3-4 16-8-6 5-4-1
2 DETROIT* 65 43 14   8 94 242 189 24-4-3 19-10-5 6-3-1
3 CALGARY* 65 39 20   6 84 213 193 22-8-4 17-12-2 7-2-1
4 CHICAGO 62 36 17   9 81 208 157 17-5-6 19-12-3 6-3-1
5 VANCOUVER 63 33 22   8 74 190 177 17-11-4 16-11-4 8-2-0
6 NASHVILLE 65 33 28   4 70 169 179 21-11-2 12-17-2 7-2-1
7 COLUMBUS 65 32 27   6 70 175 184 20-10-2 12-17-4 5-4-1
8 DALLAS 65 31 26   8 70 190 199 17-12-4 14-14-4 4-5-1
9 EDMONTON 64 31 27   6 68 180 198 15-12-4 16-15-2 4-4-2
10 ANAHEIM 66 31 29   6 68 184 194 15-14-3 16-15-3 4-5-1
11 MINNESOTA 63 31 27   5 67 161 151 18-11-5 13-16-0 3-5-2
12 ST LOUIS 64 29 27   8 66 177 189 16-12-5 13-15-3 7-2-1
13 LOS ANGELES 64 27 28   9 63 169 188 14-13-8 13-15-1 3-6-1
14 PHOENIX 65 28 32   5 61 162 199 17-13-2 11-19-3 3-7-0
15 COLORADO 65 28 36   1 57 173 207 17-15-0 11-21-1 3-7-0

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:

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