Saturday night's loss against the St. Louis Blues was not the easiest thing to witness. It was a game that seemed to start out wonderfully, but by the end of it you realize just how far the Stars still have to go in order to be competitive.
Let's face it. The Blues are a good team.
And looking at how the Stars stack up against the best of the West (which, given how the East is playing right now, is the best in the entire NHL), they are coming up just short. They are competitive through those head to head match-ups, sure, but you can start to see a trend after games against the Blues, Hawks, Avs, and Kings.
Fortunately, Mike Heika explains to us why these losses aren't all doom and gloom. In fact, when compared to the path of the Stars' latest first round draft pick, you can see just how much hope remains.
Not unlike the 18-year-old rookie from Russia, the Stars are a work in progress. They will have games where the scoreboard favors them, where their goalie is magical, where they might simply be the better team. But they will also have other games...or even just moments in games...that aren't so great.
Just like Nichushkin.
It doesn't mean you give up, it doesn't mean you get frustrated, it doesn't mean you hang your head. It is what it is.
Nichushkin is learning English, he's learning to play hockey a new way, he's learning how to live his life differently. And so are the Stars. They're learning how to attack the net, how to defend the net, how to live a different life.
Jim Nill has talked long and hard about a culture change in Dallas, and that doesn't happen overnight. You want it to, but it doesn't.
Patience is something that has been mentioned plenty both here and within the Stars organization itself. While some fans complain that they have been patient for five year already, it is important to remember that the group that is now in place for the Stars have not. They have only had 20 or so games to work with. Things will come into focus as the season progresses, but they will just take time.
- In case you missed it, Brenden Morrow spoke up about what it's like to play for the Blues now, and how he is dealing with no longer being in Dallas. If the Stars get knocked out of the playoffs early this year, I think I know which team I will be cheering for. [Dallas News]
- Mark Stepneski also has his recap from the Blues game, including quotes from the players. [Stars.com]
- Jim Nill recently spoke about the first quarter of the season, and gives some good analysis on where he thinks they stand. [Stars.com]
- Puck Daddy takes a look at Buffa
sluglo's new third jerseys in a special feature called "Pass or turd burger." Hey, he's only quoting the Sabre's President. [Puck Daddy]
- In this week's "The Vent," they discuss whether or not rivalries in the NHL are dead, and if Brett Hull was the greatest hockey player ever. [Puck Daddy]
- Sean McIndoe's grab bag is filled with goodies. As always, make sure you at least check out the number one star of comedy this week. I can't stop laughing. [Grantland]
- You get a special two-for-one video of the day. The first is the Texas Stars teddy bear toss, which has become a great fund raiser in the minor leagues and AHL now. Make sure you watch to the end for the best toss of the night.
- The second is my new favorite movie review, featuring Brenden Dillon. If you aren't going to the games this season, you are missing out on a ton of new videos like this one.