On a momentous day such as today was with the ownership issues now officially taken care of and in the past there has been lots of talk about how there is a bright future ahead for the Dallas Stars.
In the here and now however things haven't looked so great for the team, especially the offense which had gone stone cold over the last three games coming into tonight's action and didn't get any better in Denver as the Stars dropped a 3-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche for their fourth loss in a row.
Not only have the Stars lost four games in a row, they haven't scored a single goal in the last two games. In fact their scoreless stretch is over 170 minutes long as they last scored midway through the first period against Detroit last Saturday.
It was a case of the same old story for the Stars as the goaltending from Kari Lehtonen was quite good and gave his club a chance to pull out a win of some kind, the defense in front of him played ok in front of their net but still allowed Colorado to make it a shooting gallery all game long and the Stars offense consisted of mostly long distance shots that were easily handled by Jean-Sebastien Giguere.
Now to save me time and effort I really could just take most of everything that's been said about the Stars past three losses, copy it and paste it here and I'm sure it wouldn't seem out of place at all.
In fact for grins and giggles lets try it shall we?
From the Penguins game:
(a) tenacious forecheck not to mention a suffocating defense when the Stars did manage to enter the offensive zone were way too much for the Stars to handle
The Stars transition game is almost non-existent right now as opposing teams do not fear breakout passes and chip plays burning them and creating odd man rushes for the Stars. The Stars don't have the type of personnel on defense (especially with Alex Goligoski out) to make the kinds of passes and plays needed and right now the forwards can't seem to get the puck to settle onto their stick for more than a couple of seconds before it is either checked off them or simply is fumbled away. All this means that opposing teams to send two forwards deep to force turnovers, gain the puck without having to go the length of the ice to retrieve it and quickly set up for another scoring chance or two on the Stars goal.
Constantly losing faceoffs - something the Stars did a lot of tonight as well - doesn't help matters.
From the Red Wings game:
the Stars were up against a deeper and more talented club that skates well, isn't afraid to play a physical pressuring game and has better than average goaltending.
So the 'deeper' part may be up for some debate when it comes to Colorado, but right now they were the healthier of the two clubs. it also says here on the scoresheet that the Stars out-hit the Avalanche 23-13 but you can chalk that number up to the fact the Stars never really controlled the puck long enough at any time of the game to warrant being the target of a hit by a Colorado player.
As for J.S. Giguere, he may be a goalie who has seen his best days behind him and has had issues facing the Stars in the past, but had no such problems tonight as he saw the puck well and stopped everything shot his way - not that he had a challenging night since the Stars were pretty much a one-shot-and-done offense tonight, but still the Stars did generate at least a few chances offensively and became quite frustrated quickly as Giggy put up a brick wall in front of his net.
And from the Florida game:
Whatever line combos may have been working just a few games ago is clearly not working right now and the coaching staff needs to start pulling some strings and finding some solutions to what has become a very anemic offense.
Coach Glen Gulutzan is trying and did throw out some different lines on the ice tonight - partly out of necessity with Steve Ott returning and Adam Burish out - but didn't get any good results tonight from his line tinkering.
Coming into the game Gulutzan himself had stated that Ott may not see the kind of minutes he usually plays and would possibly be eased into the lineup, but Ott turned out to be one of the few forwards who had a real good showing on the ice and not only lead the team with shots on goal (4), but also saw more ice time than any other Stars forward save for Loui Erkisson who played two more seconds than Ott did.
Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately if the players are looking to really redeem themselves quickly) the Stars hop on a jet and return home to find the San Jose Sharks waiting for them tomorrow night so the line tinkering and search for chemistry will have to remain a trial by fire process against a team that has won three of it's last four games and is looking more and more like the San Jose Sharks we're used to seeing.
6:10 - COL - C. Kobasew (3) Assists: R. Wilson (10), T. Galiardi (2)
14:34 - COL PP - P. Stastny (6) Assists: G. Landeskog (4), S. O'Brien (7)
19:55 - COL PP EN - M. Duchene (8) Assists: D. Jones (5), K. Quincey (11)