The Dallas Stars are 7-1-1 in January. At the risk of sounding unprofessional, that feels awesome.
Unless then one regulation loss was a 7 goal flogging at the hands of the 14th place team in the West and the most recent game played. Then it actually doesn't feel all that "awesome".
Still, the franchise record eight game road winning streak had to come to an end at some point, and last night felt like enough of an aberration to fans, coaches, and players alike that it should be easy enough to put that one behind us and move on. Except the Vancouver Canucks await on the other side.
Coincidentally, the Canucks were their waiting the last time the Stars surrendered 7 goals in a game (to the Red Wings on December 29th.) Another aberration where the goaltending is concerned. We've spoken all year long about what a big key the goaltending has been so, though it may be cruel, it stands to reason that when they don't get those big saves to which they have become accustomed, the long finger of blame might be pointed that way. Just ask Marc Crawford.
"We know that our goalie has been terrific all year," said Crawford. "He probably feels worse than anybody else. On the other side of it, the other thing you hope that you learn from it is that you just have to protect the puck as much as you can."
The Stars had not allowed an opponent to score more than two goals in eight games this month.
Cracking the Canucks gaudy 15-3-4 home record will require a return to top form at that position and better "details", as they like to say. For now we'll just try to rinse the awful taste out our mouths left by last night and know that this team is better than that.
Little bit of reading...
- Every stinking time someone has to point out the Iginla/Dallas connection... [PHT]
- The Sedins are busy inviting teenage girls to the game on Monday so they might be distracted. [Vancouver Sun]
- Montreal Gazette says Kari Lehtonen is the NHL's best kept secret. [Gazette]
- Beskorowany is heading back to Idaho after a good stint with the Texas Stars but he wants to play on a more consistent basis. I like that kid a lot. [Idaho Statesman]
- The Red Wings negotiated a very reasonable deal with Evgeni Nabokov and then the Islanders claim him on waivers. That's cold, but that's waivers for you. [TSN]
- ESPN Dallas has a good read with quotes from last night. The whole team knows not to dwell on this one. [ADSP]