The Dallas Stars' road to trade deadline sellers was littered with lost leads. Overcoming two separate two-goal deficits in San Jose, therefore, was a turning of the tables, and one Ray Whitney - now a de facto captain-like figure in post game settings - knows was necessary to continued belief in the Dallas locker room.
"With the situation we're in every game is pretty important," Whitney told media Sunday evening. "If we are going to have any chance at all, it is going to have to be a pretty impressive run here at the end. If you look at these guys (the Sharks), they hit a hot streak at the right time and it catapulted them up in the standings. For us to have any chance at the playoffs we're going to have to go on a similar run."
As the media continues to fixate on the absences of Jagr, Roy and Morrow, the Stars believe the roster rearrangement gives them a new plan of attack.
"It's not so much a puck possession group as it was when Jags was here," Whitney continued. "It's more of a north-south mentality. When you have a younger team it's easier for them to understand that. It's a simpler game when it's up and down, get the puck in and bang away. It's work your way into the playoffs
That mentality will be tested heavily when the LA Kings return to the AAC on Tuesday. As a far better possession team than the Sharks or Ducks, and far stingier at their best as well, the Kings won't be bested by youthful exuberance and an intention of north-south play alone.
Still - If they could push the streak to three... It piques the curiosity.
The week ahead: The team will enjoy an optional practice in Frisco tomorrow, a game Tuesday, a day off Wednesday, and their next full team practice Thursday, if you want to get out and see them before they take off for Nashville.
- First things first, and this really should be: San Jose Sharks bloggers and fans naming Alex Chiasson their number one star of a Stars victory at the Shark Tank. There's no part of that sentence you shouldn't like. [Fear The Fin]
- From Craig Custance: "NHL COO John Collins said the league is in high level discussions with the NHL's Board of Governors, interested teams and the NHLPA about expanding the U.S. outdoor game schedule beyond the Winter Classic as soon as next season." They go on to mention the Kings' interest in hosting an outdoor game. Possibly against Anaheim. Yuck. [ESPN]
- The buzzards are circling the Phoenix Coyotes as a franchise after the latest attempt at a purchase was once again under-funded. As the clock ticks down the what seems like the 8th or 9th time, Gary Bettman (remember when his was the only voice being quoted for months on end?) says interest to purchase the franchise AND keep it in Glendale has never been higher. It's amazing, really, the longevity of that story. [Puck Daddy]
- Speaking of which, this is an interesting blog to follow if you, like me, are fascinated by continued desire to prop up a prolific money-losing machine in Glendale. [Nebulous Verbosity]
- Full post game quotes from the Stars after the win in San Jose via Stars Inside Edge. [Inside Edge
- Furthering the notion that things that are older are better, rather than rolling with what's current and creating new memories, the Red Wings and Maple Leafs revealed the jerseys to be worn at
this yearsnext year's Winter Classic in Michigan. [Kuklas Korner]
- NHLPA cheerleader Larry Brooks reports that the league will not open its season in Europe as it had in the five years leading up to the 2012 lockout - But that discussions to revive the World Cup of Hockey could happen to fill the void a bit. [New York Post]
- From "Betting Expert.com" before the game yesterday: "Sharks play exellenet hockey at home, they have 14-1-4 in last 19 games and this will be last home game before they start away game serie!" It came up in a Google search. They picked the Sharks. You can't make this stuff up. [Bettingexpert.com]
- The Detroit Red Wings, if you subscribe to the idea that the season is not over for the Dallas Stars, possibly represent Dallas' best chance at catching someone for the 8 seed. Detroit has lost four of six, beating only lowly Colorado twice in that stretch. They finish with five of nine on the road, including the season finale here at the AAC. [Red Wings.com - Winging It in Motown on their loss yesterday]
More is forthcoming on this young man as the week rolls on, but let's hope that getting used to post-game comments from him is something we should all be doing...