With the doom and gloom of the trade deadline passed and consecutive wins to consider, some Dallas Stars fans are enticed to at least glance at the Western Conference standings forsaken just seven days prior.
The team, of course, says they must simply stay focused on the task at hand.
"We're just playing one game at a time," Glen Gulutzan said Monday. "We're going to play as hard as we can every game. We're not going to get caught up looking at the standings. We just want to make sure we are competing night in and night out."
The Los Angeles Kings, as luck would have it, return to the American Airlines Center providing a wealth of distraction from the standings.
Just nine days ago Darryl Sutter's bunch dominated the Stars here on Easter Sunday, out-shooting them 40-15 in an extremely one-sided affair belied by a 3-2 final score.
Los Angeles has out-shot the Stars 113-58 in three games so far this season, though the Stars won twice at Staples Center.
Pre-empted by Texas Rangers baseball, the Dallas Stars will drop the puck tonight on Fox Sports Southwest PLUS.
Tuesday will be the American Airlines Center crowd's first opportunity, thanks to the lack of a pre-season, to see Alex Chiasson in a proper Dallas Stars jersey - And his reputation has preceded him a bit.
With three goals in his first three games he'll garner a bit of the intrigue tonight, provided the Kings do not possess the puck the overwhelming majority of the time as on Easter, but Ray Whitney says it's not just the goals that are impressive.
"I know everybody looks at the goals, but it is his overall game that is more impressive," Whitney told media yesterday. "His play with the puck in our own zone and protecting the puck in the offensive zone has been very good. He's a big body and a better skater than I initially thought he was."
Meanwhile on the "second line" things were a little more interesting Sunday. By the time the contest had ended the Fiddler trio had received nearly three minutes more of even strength time than Matt Fraser, Loui Eriksson and Cody Eakin did. It should be interesting to see how the game unfolds this evening and what kind of deployment that trio gets if the game is close down the stretch.
The team re-called Jordie Benn from the Texas Stars yesterday, though there is no injury on the defense. It's unknown if he'll get into game action soon.
Brenden Dillon has recorded a +6 rating over his last three games.
Kari Lehtonen is scheduled to make his 19th consecutive appearance in the Dallas net tonight.
Los Angeles enters playing their third game in four nights after a win over Edmonton at home Saturday and a shootout "road" loss to the Ducks Sunday at Honda Center.
After the loss Darryl Sutter called catching the Ducks for the Pacific Division crown "pretty much impossible."
"I went to school, and I graduated, and I can do the math," Sutter said. "We've got a few games left. That's pretty much impossible...We're trying to get our own points. Couldn't care less who wins the division."
Division or no division, they know they quality of their team, and they remember from which seed they vaulted themselves to the Stanley Cup last April as well.
Los Angeles is a good hockey club because they dominate possession. It's easy to say that they dominate possession by looking at some of the shot totals in their last 10 games: 38, 39, 40, 40, 40, 40, 36, 31, and a couple of "off-nights" (or what other teams might consider to be average).
This should be the Stars' first look at newly acquired veteran defenseman Robyn Regehr, who the Kings acquired via trade with the Buffalo Sabres after parting with their 2014 and 2015 second-round draft picks. He's recorded one assist and a +3 rating in three games with the Kings thus far.