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Western Canada Has Been Very, Very Good to Dallas

Well, except for this year's visits to Edmonton, where Dallas has been outscored this season, 9-3. Fortunately, the itinerary on this third and final swing through Western Canada doesn't take them anywhere near the northernmost city in the NHL.

 Because even in the wins, the Stars always had to go through a little goofiness.

Remember Patrick Stefan's gaffe two years ago?


Getting back on track, ever since the NHL and NHLPA settled their labor differences and got back to playing hockey three and a half years ago, the Stars have gone a very impressive 13-8-1 on the road in Western Canada.

Granted, that mark becomes 7-6-1 when you take out Dallas' 6-2 mark in Edmonton over their last eight visits up there. But if you just go back to the last eight road games against the Canucks, Flames, and Oilers, you'll see that the Stars were able to sneak out with wins in six of those contests.

Both games in Edmonton went to the Oilers by the margin of three goals in each contest. But if you look at the other 20 contests since the lockout, only one has been decided by two goals or more with the Stars having been slightly outscored by one single goal at 55-54.

This season, Dallas has registered a victory each in Calgary and in Vancouver. The win over the Flames came on the heels of the Sean Avery suspension for making comments about...well, you don't need me to remind you.

Then in January, the Stars rallied from an early 2-0 deficit to tie the contest, send it to OT, and then on to the shootout where they won it on a James Neal goal.

As for this upcoming trip, Bob Sturm suggested on Saturday night's post-game show on The Ticket that the Stars will need at least three points on this upcoming trip which ends on Saturday afternoon in San Jose, another location where the Stars have had quite a bit of success over the years, including the playoffs.

But it's not so much points that the Stars should be looking to gain. Sure, you could get three points by losing each contest in OT or the Shootout. But that does this team no good in the wins column.

And if those three points come as a result of a win, a regulation loss, and an OT/shootout loss, well, you've only added one win to your ledger. So for this trip to be considered a success in my book, Dallas needs at least four points out of this trip.

It'll be hard. Be as recent history suggests, it's very doable.