Three weeks ago a win over the Anaheim Ducks wouldn't have sounded like much of an accomplishment, but their monster run of 6-0-1 before falling to the Dallas Stars last night makes it all the more impressive. That's a hot team playing with a lot of confidence and good offensive fire power. It's a good win, but the Stars know that it's only a baby step in the right direction. Brad Richards and Steve Ott talked last night after the game about being pleased with the effort but both acknowledged that they have a lot of work to do going forward.
When you lose three in a row, one win doesn't make everything alright. The Sharks put a hurting on those Conference leading Kings the other night, 6-3, and they come here on Thursday for their first meeting with the Stars this year. Relieved though I am to not have to reel off the amazing list of "Nabokov in Dallas" stats any more, it's still a big test. The Stars have seen what getting off to bad starts against division opponents can do to change the dynamic going forward and setting the tone for the season. They need to show San Jose that they're going to be down here fighting with the rest of the conference this year. Not on their lofty perch of a 18 point lead.
The key going forward has to be the offense. They've now tallied just five goals in their last four games.
So can we now transition from saying "The Stars have lost six of nine" to "The Stars have won four of seven?"
Perspective is fun. Here are some notes and links on last night's close shave...
- 13,443 at the AAC last night beats 12,378 the last time the Ducks came town in October, also a Tuesday 8:00pm start. That's a good comparable and things could be trending up a bit, if we're lucky. The number was small, but the crowd was..."OK" last night.
- Like Brenden Morrow, Mike Modano missed a little time with a sore groin but is expected back soon. I know some of you don't like to keep tabs on Mo, but we do, so deal with it. [Detroit Free Press]
- Randy Carlyle after the game said "The puck was sitting up a little when it crossed the line. Maybe if it's just sitting flat, it isn't all the way in." [OC Register]
- Anaheim Calling has very nearly nothing to say about any of this, but are wondering who their next AHL call-up should be. No one likes to talk about losses, evidently. [Anaheim Calling]
- Puck Daddy makes Brad Richards their second star of the night for scoring his 200th career goal. Richards said after the game that he didn't have the puck yet, but he was pretty sure they grabbed it for him. [Puck Daddy]
- Kari Lehtonen told the media after the game that he hit his skate on the post on the Marchant breakaway, lost his edge, and they couldn't do anything about it until the end of the period. So he played the last five minutes of that period basically on one leg, and was awesome anyway, making a couple saves more along the way.
- The Stars will be offering discounted tickets to Saturdays game in order to raise organ donor awareness for "Taylor's Gift Night" at the AAC. More information can be found here.
- Speaking of raising awareness, I want to raise awareness about Mike Heika's Movember mustache. It is flourishing.