It's pretty easy to pick apart what's gone wrong in the past two Dallas Stars games.
The goaltending hasn't been stellar. There have been far too many turnovers. The offense hasn't come until late. And they've had far too many stretches where they give up goals in quick succession.
That was the story again in Friday's 4-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. But despite the problems that were present then and in Wednesday's loss to the Winnipeg Jets, Stars players said there's no reason to panic just yet.
"We had a quick little meeting (after the game) and we are still a confident bunch. We’re in a pretty good position. As of right now, we are in a playoff spot. It’s a good feeling where we are at, but we’ve got some tough games and work ahead of us. But we are in a better position being in the playoffs now than if we were grinding to get into one."
For those of you who are worried that's too positive after a fairly uninspired performance, the rest of the quotes from the team were about getting back to their game and all the typical post-loss stuff. But I do think he has a point - losing the past two games is not good, but they're still in a better position than some of the teams around them in the standings.
After the jump, more on the Stars loss to the Blackhawks, the biggest crowd at a hockey game in AAC history and don't make Owen Nolan angry. You won't like him when he's angry.
- Was it only two games ago that this team was going to win 39 consecutive games or something like that and march all the way to the Stanley Cup? Gosh, it all feels so long ago, as Mike Heika details in this paywalled story. [DallasNews.com]
- The Hawks managed to score all their goals in about four combined minutes of play at the start of the first and third periods. Let's not let that happen again, eh? [ESPN Dallas]
Patrick Sharp and his pair of goals were the big story from the Hawks point of view.[Chicago Tribune]
- The Hawks haven't played with a lot of leads recently, and they thoroughly enjoyed the one afforded to them 10 seconds into the game on Friday. [ESPN Chicago]
- Just to make your morning a little more humorous (or pessimistic and cynical if you take it all seriously), Todd is here to explain why your favorite team won't make the playoffs. [Thursday Morning Cupcheck]
- If you want to figure out how put the jinx on Kari Lehtonen before Friday's game, look no further than Richard Durrett. Now, everything he says in this is true, but it did make me laugh that it came out right before Lehtonen had his first forgettable night in quite a while. [ESPN Dallas]
- It was the largest hockey crowd in AAC history thanks to a new promotion that involves standing-room only tickets. [DallasNews.com]
- There's some interesting things brewing with one of the parking lots right around the AAC, but people with the arena want the moves to be delayed until at least after the NHL and NBA playoffs. [NBCDFW.com]
- We mentioned this yesterday when writing about the Smiths being up for the Hobey Baker Award, but Austin Smith is the first player from the Dallas area to be up for the award, and his development curve is just about what you'd expect when you consider that the team came to Texas in 1993. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
- The NHL to.... Saskatoon? Really? People actually think this is viable? [Puck Daddy]
- Adrian Dater is not impressed with how teams in the hunt for the playoffs are playing for three-point games and what that means to dramatic third periods (or lack thereof in some cases). [Sports Illustrated]
- Around the Pacific Division: On the bad side of Friday night, the Jonas Hiller had a rough night for the Anaheim Ducks, which lost 4-2 to the Los Angeles Kings. [Los Angeles Times]
- Other scoreboard watching: On the good side, the Calgary Flames hot streak was extinguished (get it? Get it?!) by the Edmonton Oilers in a 3-1 loss. [Edmonton Journal]
- The internet makes it very dangerous to be a writer because even when you think you've fact checked, Owen Nolan is waiting around the corner on Twitter to tell you just how wrong you were. [Backhand Shelf]
- Glen Gulutzan talks about what it will take for this team to earn a freaking power play.