Since the disastrous special teams play against the Red Wings and Canucks that ended 2010 with a sickening thud, the Dallas Stars PP and PK units have been on fire.
In January they've scored on 12 of their 29 power plays opportunities (41.4%) and killed 24 of 26 penalties (92.3%). Let that sink in for a second. Yet still they enter tonight's contest with the league's 22nd worst road penalty kill and face the league's best power play in the Canucks, but who should really be favored in that matchup?
Special teams decided the December 31st contest as the Stars let the Canucks 3 for 6 on the man advantage on the way to a 4-1 loss.
Only twice this month have the Stars "lost" the special teams battle: Against the Rangers (1 PPGF, 1 PPGA and 1 SHGA) and against the Flames (0 PPGF, 1 PPGA). Those are their only two losses this month.
Special teams and goaltending, Razor always says. They built their January on them, and they'll need more of the same to finish the month strong before a tough stretch of opponents following the All-Star break.
- Fox 4, who rarely covers stick and puck, feels the need to hype the Dallas Stars Guardian? OK. [Fox 4]
- The Stars are the lead story on The Hockey News' power rankings, and they rightly point out the Stars difficult stretch of schedule coming up. [THN]
- The Canucks and Wings slides of late somehow get the Stars all the way to #2 in the ESPN Power Rankings. [ESPN Dallas]
- CBC isn't very subtle as they tick off all the ways the Canucks own the Stars and why they should win tonight. [CBC.ca]
- But then "The Province" says "Dallas must be licking its chops at the floundering Canucks". Perspective is a funny thing, is it not? [The Province]
- Last night was "Mark Fistric" bobble head night at the Vancouver Giants game. [VancouverGIants.com] The resemblance is...not great.
- Razor measures what a "surprise" the Stars are this year player by player. [Razor/Dallasstars.com]