It's never fun to lose.
(Okay, well I say "obviously," but Edmonton seems to be having a hard time figuring that part out.)
The great thing about an 82 game season, though, is that there is plenty of time to learn from your mistakes. Just over a dozen or so games into the season, and the Stars are a perfect example of this.
When this team first started playing, there were missed passes and players out of position on nearly every shift. However, that's not really the case anymore. Since the beginning of October, the Stars have gotten a little more used to each other, and are able to play a more cohesive game.
There will certainly be more mistakes along the way, but it won't be all bad. Take Saturday night's game against the Blackhawks for example. Yes, they lost 5-2, but the score does not really tell the entire story. The final score fails to mention that the Stars were able to clog the middle of the zone, create more offensive chances, and basically just outwork one of the best teams in the NHL.
Mike Heika compares it to seeing the forest for the trees.
So, that's the story. You're looking at the forest, you see six trees knocked over, and you figure that's the big picture. But is it really? Lindy Ruff would tell you no. He would tell you that the power play pretty much did score _ and he's right about that, as Cody Eakin's goal occurred with Niklas Hjalmarsson about two strides out of the penalty box _ and he would tell you his team was the better team.
"I thought we had more puck possession, we out-skated them, and a lot of times we outworked them,'' Ruff said. "They were really smarter than us.''
So lots of forest talk there. In the big picture, this team is improving and continued to improve Saturday night. There are lots of trees that point to that fact. The Stars had a 33-31 edge in shots on goal. They had a 68-47 advantage in total shots (on goal, blocked and missed). They drew the six power plays. Heck, you could actually argue they deserved more.
And that's what good teams do. Don't get caught up in the special teams battle, because it will distract you from the real story.
Make sure to check out the rest of his observations on what was a promising game, despite the outcome.
Elsewhere around the NHL, Josh Harding is making headlines because of his stellar play as of late. It's nice to see the focus finally being shifted away from his illness. Because MS flat out stinks, and I like seeing him succeed despite it. [Puck Daddy]
The NHL Grab Bag is always one of my favorite weekends. And if you want to see helmet thief one last time, you can do so here. [Grantland]
Okay, Colorado, we get it. You proved us wrong. Can you start losing now? Please? [NHL.com]
Get to know a little bit more about this year's Hall of Fame Nominees [ESPN]
And while we don't always pay very much attention to the Florida Panthers, I'm always interested in seeing how successful they can be as a market down there. And it would appear that they are trying to get things back on track. [Sports Illustrated]
The Stars have really revamped their in-arena entertainment this year. I'm going to try and start posting some of these every Monday morning. Today's feature is Erik Cole vs. Trevor Daley in a quiz challenge. (For those of you at the game on Saturday, I will post the Brenden Dillon Movie Reviews just as soon as it's available.)