There's just something about winning. (Something beyond just making us happy). It makes us forget that last year through six the games the Stars weren't all that much worse off than this season. They were 2-1-3. They had 7 points in 6 games. Mark Stepneski made this point the other day, here, with some good stats. The power play was better. The penalty kill was better. The shot differential was way better. Yet a couple of OT/SO wins this season make all the difference in the world, don't they? Not only for us, but more importantly for the players. Winning breeds comradery, belief and trust. The difference between 5-1-0 and 2-1-3 might only be three points in the standings, but it certainly feels like a much larger difference this morning.
And because it's worth saying every day, in every post at this point: Kari Lehtonen is the key to all of this success and the Stars know it. They wanted that shutout for him pretty badly last night but it wasn't meant to be. Maybe next time?
Next up for the Stars is a lengthy six game home stand with some tough opponents (Kings, Predators, Penguins, etc...) but in the mean time here are some links. (Go Rangers?)
- Not Stars related, but this picture of a nearly empty Coyotes game last night is a sobering reminder of what could happen here if things keep getting worse (or if the Rangers have a game 7 on Saturday when the Stars play the Preds) [Puck Daddy] ...On second thought, no, I don't think things could get that bad here.
- Derek Zona of Copper and Blue does a little statistical analysis of last night's game with Litterbox cats. It seems the Stars didn't have any "scoring chances" on their power plays.
- Litterbox Cats also has an amusing quote from the Panthers last night. Apparently it wasn't lack of effort, but they were "standing around." Confusing. [Litterbox Cats]
- Mike Heika has some good observations and quotes from the game last night [DMN]
- Jamie Benn's three assists were not good enough to get him a Puck Daddy star of the night. Too bad. [PD]
- ESPN Dallas notes the Stars are now just 2 for 22 on the PP, and many other stats from last night. [ESPN Dallas]
- In case you missed it, Brandon Worley posted a good discussion about how THN.com fooled us again and the Stars have not yet received an advance from the league on TV revenue. [DBD]
- Mark Fistric's hit on Franzen didn't even keep him out a whole week. It couldn't have been that bad. #NHLlogic
- Texas Stars face "Lake Erie Monsters". I love AHL team names. [Hundred Degree Hockey]