If there's one thing that can be said about the first four games of the Dallas Stars' season so far, it's that they are emotional for the fans. Losing in your home opener, let along to the Florida Panthers, is not the best way to start a season. Then, the Stars turn it around with a great win against the Washington Capitals, followed by an even more impressive win against the Winnipeg Jets. Then it all unraveled on Saturday night, with a dismal 5-1 loss.
Of course, the Stars were on the second night of a back to back, playing against a rested team. The Wild are also one of the best possession teams in the league, and extremely stingy with shots allowed. But that doesn't make it any less concerning.
It has been said over and over since the middle of the summer -- This roster is extremely green (get it?!), and will take some time to gel together. Until then, we have no idea what this team will really look like once the pieces will fall into place.
If there was one hope, however, it was that the new look Dallas Stars would not suffer from the same problems as they did in the previous season. In fact, when all of the new forwards were acquired, the hope was that it would create a better team defense, resulting in fewer shots against, fewer turnovers, and better possession.
As of four games in, that change has yet to really be seen.
While it's still extremely early in the season, that makes the panic for a lot of fans at least understandable, if not relatable. In fact, Mike Heika compares the stress felt by fans to that of someone watching a horror movie -- something that he would prefer to do without.
It just seems odd to me - sort of like watching the Stars on Saturday. You go in believing that they can navigate the challenges of a back-to-back, that they have a new back-up goalie in town, that the huge shot differential isn't a big deal.
You really felt that they could walk into the basement to replace the light bulb and come out unscathed. C'mon, what could be hiding in the basement on a Saturday night?
And then Leatherface starts up the chainsaw, Jason Voorhees is breathing loudly behind you, and Freddy Krueger reaches out of the TV and smashes your face through the screen.
Having fun yet?
There are certainly plenty of thrills for this season. We Know What They Did Last Summer, making the blockbuster trade for Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverly, a move which almost no Stars fan will question at this point in the season. And there is no doubt that the front end is greatly improved.
The only question is whether or not it will all come together in time for the Stars to finally end their playoff drought. While we don't know the answer to that yet, it's safe to say that the season isn't entirely lost. After all, not every game will be a Nightmare on Elm Street. Sometimes they'll be able to escape the Jaws of defeat and get another two points in the race for the post season.
This team will eventually hit its stride. It might be 28 Days Later, or it might be 28 Weeks Later, but eventually this group will come together. Then the Stars will be the Shining team on the ice, creating a Texas Chainsaw Massacre of their own.
Lame movie reference puns aside, there are legitimate concerns that Heika points out about this team. They are issues that need to be fixed as soon as possible. But getting all of those details worked out, with a new roster and a new coach, will take time. The NHL as a whole last season was a pretty good example of that. Most of the teams that made the playoffs, and the eventual Stanley Cup winning Blackhawks, were teams that did not have a great deal of turnover from the prior year.
So sleep well, Stars fans, and know that one day we may wake up, and find that we weren't really watching a horror film. It was just an M. Night Shyamalan movie that turned out to be not very scary at all.
Coming up in today's links: A look from the Wild's perspective, the argument between pro and anti-fighting continues, and is it flying, or falling with style?
- Jack Campbell is inching his way closer to the NHL. Now that he's the first emergency call up for the Stars, fans are beginning to salivate for the day when he might be the #1 starter. [Dallas Morning News]
- With the Wild being a divisional opponent of the Stars now, it becomes even more important to understand as much as possible about them. Here's a great local piece from Michael Russo, who has plenty of praise for the kids on the roster. Given the outcome on Saturday night, I can't say I blame him. [Star Tribune]
- This isn't a very detailed read, but if you like to follow some of the NHL journeymen that have made their way through Dallas, you'll be glad to know that Jeff Halpern has been signed in Phoenix. Best of luck. [NHL]
- There's always a debate between whether or not fights should be eliminated from the NHL. Both sides have valid arguments. In this editorial, two different writers take each side. Its a good read, and you might just learn something -- including the fact that the NHL once had a rule making the forward pass illegal. [Puck Daddy]
- Puck Daddy also has your three stars for Sunday night's games. Though the most important thing here is the fact that the Ducks decided to be "Mighty" for the night. Is it really a throwback if it was considered horrifying to begin with? Let's just hope the Stars marketing team isn't planning a Mooterus night any time soon. [Puck Daddy]
- It's never easy reading about these accidents, but it is nice to see a community respond in such a large way -- Matt Sorisho had his back broken while playing High School hockey last week. Since that time, his friends, family, and even some NHL players with the Coyotes have given him their full support. [ESPN]
- In case you missed it, former Dallas Star Loui Eriksson scored his first goal of the season for the Boston Bruins. Jim Nill obviously got Joe Nieuwendyk'd on that trade. [Sports Illustrated]
- Finally, for your video of the day, we have what is probably the strangest call of the season so far. Mark Scheifele turns to go after a puck and just falls, on his own. Apparently, the refs ruled it as a two minute minor for telekenesis. Take a look for yourself below.