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Dallas Stars Training Camp 2009: Quick Thoughts and Observations

The Dallas Stars are set to take on the Colorado Avalanche tonight at home, after two extremely unimpressive performances against the Florida Panthers. As we get ready to move forward to tonight and the game Saturday, I'm left with some random thoughts tumbling around in my head about where this team is and where it might be headed. Here are my quick observations about what we've seen so far.

  • Training camp is nearing it's end and the regular season is just around the corner, and I feel like I have no clue what kind of team the Dallas Stars will be. Perhaps its the lack of any kind of radio or television coverage of the preseason games but most likely it's due to the underwhelming and inconsistent performance of the team so far. I've already seen this Dallas Stars team before (no power play, bad penalties, inability to take advantage of the opposition's mistakes) and it's not one that I liked. Let's get it together, Marc.
  • With all of the talk of Jamie Benn, Fabian Brunnstrom, Brad Richards and the rest of this team's talent at forward, it seems the defense has been ignored somewhat (by us, not the coaches). Other than some issues on the penalty kill, it seems like the defense has not been the big problem we thought it be. Now, Matt Niskanen had some issues last night on the point on the power play but I've yet to read anywhere about massive breakdowns by Mark Fistric, Nicklas Grossman or Niskanen, which is a big step up from last season. If I'm wrong, we'll find out soon enough.
  • Speaking of Jamie Benn....good job, sir. I was skeptical that you would play well enough to force your way onto this team and bypass the AHL, but you've done one hell of job doing just that the past few weeks. I still think Benn will be in Austin when the season starts, but I also belive the latest he'll make his first NHL appearance will be November 1st.
  • The Stars still have 36 players on the roster. They need to get that number down and actually play a preseason game with their proposed NHL lineup. I'm  expecting cuts today, but we shall see.
  • Ralph Strangis does a great job bidding farewell to Sergei Zubov, and its an article I'm not ashamed to say made me a bit emotional. Zubov was a fan favorite here in Dallas, but he was vastly underrated around the league and in the national media. He's doing well in Russia so far, playing over 23 minutes a game and having fun. Were the Stars too cautious with his health? Perhaps, but you can't fault them for the decision that was made.
  • Marty Turco has been very solid so far this preseason and Alex Auld was pretty good in his game as well. He'll go the entire game tonight against Colorado, but so far it appears that the goaltending woes of last year have turned around a bit. Next season is a different story...
  • Matt Climie is quickly staking his claim to be the backup next season. If Turco departs, might we see a rotation between Auld (who is a UFA this summer) and Climie in 2010?
  • I feel bad for Fabian Brunnstrom. He seems to be a good guy, is a good teammate and tries hard but it's obvious he has serious confidence issues. He desperately needs extended time in the AHL.