That's the fact that the seemingly forgotten 11-game point streak has given the Stars a handhold to grasp even as they falter right now - despite falling into ninth place for the first time in over a month, they are still in control of their own playoff destiny. Getting two points some how, some way against the Sharks in their final meeting of the season will put them back in a playoff position with two games left.
But for at least Saturday night, the focus was on the fact the Stars had a fairly underwhelming performance in a critical game and in general on the road trip, where they went 1-3. Coach Glen Gulutzan said one game from that stretch continues to haunt him, and it wasn't played on Saturday.
"I was a little bit worried about this game coming in. We’ve never been good in back-to-backs. The whole road trip, I was most disappointed with the Calgary game. We’d be sitting in a different situation in a winnable hockey game. But we are where we are and, like I said, we still control our own destiny. We don’t need someone to beat somebody else. We just need to win our last three games."
After the jump, more on the Stars loss to the Sharks, so you're telling me there's still time and a reporter who covers the Maple Leafs is extremely disappointed in his team.
- Of all the things that could have gone wrong Saturday night, barring injuries, basically every other one did, as Mike Heika recounts in this paywalled gamer. [DallasNews.com]
- The entire game can probably be put in the "not good" category, but the first period was really just killer. [ESPN Dallas]
- As jarring a loss as this was for the Stars, it was equally huge for the Sharks, who are also desperately fighting for their playoff lives. [San Jose Mercury News]
- This article reminded me that the Stars were actually in a worse position last year at this time (though perhaps the same with three games left, I forget). I know it's not ideal, but you're telling me there's still a chance... [CSN Bay Area]
- Look at it this way - at least they didn't very publicly demonstrate the lack of knowledge of the NHL's rules like the Edmonton Oilers did. Bright sides, people. Bright sides. [Puck Daddy]
- Is Loui Eriksson still underrated? Heika argues no. [DallasNews.com]
- Sure, this last week or so had been extremely difficult as a Stars fans. But considering how most people predicted it would go, there is definitely an element of me that is just thrilled to be in contention with this cap-floor group. [Backhand Shelf]
- Around the Pacific Division: The Stars got only the tiniest bit of help on Saturday. The Phoenix Coyotes were thoroughly outplayed by the Anaheim Ducks in the early going but easily rolled to a 4-0 win. But the Los Angeles Kings lost in a shootout 4-3 to the Minnesota Wild. [Tuscon Citizen/Minneapolis Star-Tribune]
- There's anger about a team's failure to live up to unrealistic expectations, and then there's the Toronto Maple Leafs and their fans and media contingent. [Puck Daddy]
- Some people have asked why Brenden Morrow does interviews after bad losses when his role, at least in terms of ice time, has been diminished. And honestly, I think it's because he's the team's captain, and captains face the media to answer the hard questions. He doesn't pull many punches here in his assessment of what went wrong on Saturday.