We've learned the Dallas Stars can win at the American Airlines Center.
The next step is for the team to prove they can win on the road, and they get the chance starting today with a 6 p.m. game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. That game kicks off a four-game trip that also includes stops in Los Angeles, Anaheim and Phoenix (but strangely, not San Jose).
While things didn't go well in the team's first road game, a 5-2 loss at the Chicago Blackhawks, the players said enough things have improved in their on-ice play that it should be a different story this time around.
"Team success, whether you are at home or on the road, is the most important thing," said forward Steve Ott. "If we continue to build structurally it shouldn’t matter if he we are at home or on the road."
It will also be the second consecutive game against the reeling Blue Jackets, who were the first team I know of this season to get bag skated after their less-than-stellar effort in Saturday's 4-2 loss.
"It was a 60-minute practice," (coach Scott) Arniel told the Columbus Dispatch. "We didn’t want to work (Saturday) night for 60 minutes. We have 77 more games where we have to work for 60 minutes."
After the jump, Mike Ribeiro talks about his summer vacation, the Stars continue to leap up the power rankings and players are starting to drop like flies.
- I learned several very amusing things about Mike Ribeiro in this article from the official site. First, he might have been the only person in Texas who enjoyed the weather this summer. Second, water skiing is prohibited by his contract. And third, he's just as cocky about his ability in other sports (in this case, tennis) as he is about his ability to make a cross-crease pass. [DallasStars.com]
- One of the brightest spots early in the season has been the penalty kill, which has come up with big moment after big moment. [ESPN Dallas]
- Things Razor is a fan of: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the Sheldon Souray signing and the new video opener for home games. [Razor With an Edge]
- And things that were news to me - apparently Vernon Fiddler is at least part Native American. [Indian Country]
- I'm pretty sure the Stars weren't the 27th best team in the NHL to start the season, but in the interest of being completely honest, I'm not sure they're the eighth best team in the NHL now either no matter what these power rankings say. [ESPN]
- From my recollection, the Stars told former goalie Marty Turco that they would no longer be in need of his services for any price after the 2009-10 season. But this brief within an article claims he actually turned down a two-year, $2.5 million per season offer from Dallas. Hmm. [Edmonton Journal]
- With all the talk about the game presentation changes, I thought this article was timely. It has interviews with a lot of DJs from around the NHL, including the Los Angeles Kings guy who also plays the organ and moonlighted at the Stars season opener. [Edmonton Journal]
- Texas Tornado coach Tony Curtale is on the brink of becoming the winningest coach in United States junior hockey history. [Texas Tornado]
- Scouting the enemy, part the first: Things have gone from bad to weird for the Blue Jackets, especially in goal. Sometime between the end of practice Monday and mid-afternoon, backup goalie Curtis Sanford was injured, leading to the team doing an emergency recall of prospect Mathieu Corbeil from the QMJHL. [The Cannon]
- Scouting the enemy, part the second: Also likely out for today's game is Jeff Carter, who suffered a hairline fracture in his right foot after blocking a shot in the first game against the Stars. While the team thinks the injury isn't serious and he could be back for the weekend, he's almost assuredly benched for tonight. [Puck-Rakers Blog]
- Around the Pacific Division, the games: Teemu Selanne apparently doesn't age and has something against every Pacific Division team in the history of existence. The ageless Finn had two goals in the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks, who are not off to a very quick start. [Yahoo]
- Around the Pacific Division, the injuries: Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty is off to a fabulous start toward earning his new contract by going on injured reserve with the dreaded "upper-body injury." [Kings Insider]
- I got quite a few giggles out of this rate-the-hockey-hug feature on Puck Daddy. We need to do this with the Stars this season. There are so many compromising photos and facial expressions to be laughed at. [Puck Daddy]