I know, I know, I know. It is exactly 13 games into this truncated season and it is much too soon to start talking about (playoffs? crosses fingers) where this team could end up.
This is what I do know.
Last nights game vs Edmonton is a perfect example of what has occurred throughout the season. Kari is superman and deserves every dime of that contract extension he signed pre-lockout. The two most impressive d-men are rookies and the offence is Benn - Jagr - Morrow or bust (most nights).
Let's assume Dillon's goal did not go in. Perhaps it just bounced to the side or over Dubnyk and the Oilers clear the loose garbage. It stands to reason that the Stars enter the 3rd down a goal. Completely different game. Does Gulutzan still roll out the Fiddler-Nystrom-Garbutt line? Or does he shove the Benn-Jagr-Morrow line out there for some offence?
Last night (though it feels good to get the win) was a lucky, lucky, lucky little ducky. By the time the first "real" goal (not a fluke deflection or a re-direct from outer-space) for the stars was scored (Jagr - who else?), the Stars already had the lead.
Garbutt's goal was pure hustle on his part (good on him, always could use more Garbutt) and a deflated Shultz to contend with and an over pursuing Oiler team looking for more offence.
It has to be said that good teams find ways to win and sometimes teams win on a lucky bounce (or two). Perhaps Dallas is actually a "good team", not just a stellar goalie with a hodgepodge assortment in front of him. Perhaps.
I would love to see this team claw its way into the postseason (for no other reason than to get rid of the "monkey on the back" of GM Joe, Gulutzan and Benn; none of whom have lead Dallas their yet). But I still honestly think this team is not ready to make it there yet. I think if Lehtonen, Benn, Roy, Eriksson, or Daley go down with an injury (Ray Whitney length or longer) this team goes south like a duck in winter. Other "good teams" could survive injuries like that, Dallas can not and will not.
Since the "streak" began, I have thought going into the game, "boy, I have a bad feeling about this..." and I have been proven wrong every time. I love getting proved wrong on my predictions, because I am almost always pleasantly surprised. Hooray Pessimism!
Having said that, I had a bad feeling about Roy (possible groin re-injury) and I have a bad feeling about the "bad" Calgary Flames. They are not "bad" by any stretch of the imagination, and they will come ready to play, having 2 days rest. I hope Dallas wins (running out of fingers and toes to cross).