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Dallas Stars Ups & Downs: Week 5

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The Stars picked up two wins and a loss this past week and while the two wins - against Pittsburgh and Phoenix - were very well played 'feel good' wins, the harsh loss in Colorado seemed to put a downer on the Stars efforts for the week.  The general feeling though among fans seems to be still pretty upbeat despite the loss and this weeks edition of "Stars Ups & Downs" seems to echo that.

It's important to remember that these trends are relative to each players' own performances and expectations. While the team might be struggling or playing great as whole, it's likely that a player could be trending in a different direction individually. Each post on Monday (this weeks edition being a tad late of course) will cover the week preceding and we'll base the trends on a week to week basis only. A player could be having a great season, but had a bad week; thus, he might get stuck with a "down arrow" for that single week.


Goalies Trend Notes
Kari Lehtonen The small break did him a world of good it seems as he had an outstanding effort against the Pens.  Would have had a better GAA on the week if things didn't get a little goofy near the end of the Coyotes game.
Andrew Raycroft We're not about to pin the whole loss on Saturday on him alone, but he didn't seem to see the puck as well as one would hope and the rebound control is a little bit of a concern.
Trevor Daley Hasn't been overly great and could actually stand to do more offensively, but in his own end he's been as good as you can expect him to be.
Mark Fistric He had a pretty good game against the Penguins, but was almost invisible against the Coyotes and was a healthy scratch against the Avalanche.
Nicklas Grossman Starting to establish himself as a very tough defender to play against when on the shorthanded unit.
Matt Niskanen You can almost sense that Matt is gaining more and more confidence with the puck each game.  His two assists on Friday night probably helped as well.
Stephane Robidas Robi's point total is starting to grow - especially on the power play.  Maybe someday, people outside of Dallas will notice his offensive prowess.
Karlis Skrastins As was the case with most of the team, he was very strong in the first two games of the week, but struggled on Saturday.  Still, seven blocked shots over three games is what we should expect from him.
Jeff Woywitka Only played in one game this week but it was a decent effort in a losing cause.
Jamie Benn Saw a lot of playing time with Steve Ott this week and his play has almost become the mirror image of Ott.  Hard work, in-your-face, never give up on a play grittiness that became a spark plug for the Stars against Pittsburgh and Phoenix.
Krys Barch Only played in the Coyotes game and was decent in a fourth line role even picking up a pair of shots and crashing the net a few times.
Tom Wandell Was a scratch for the Coyotes game, wasn't overly effective with limited ice time in other two games he did play.  Needs to get back to playing with the energy we saw him start his season with.
Adam Burish Continues to be a great energy guy and has been effective on the penalty kill.  He's also been getting his shots and is surprisingly ok on faceoffs for a winger.
Loui Eriksson Four goals and three assists is a great week no matter who you are in the NHL, that Loui didn't add to that total in a third game just shows you how great he was in his other two games.
Brenden Morrow Has been on fire every since Coach Crawford called him and his game out.  We never get tired of seeing that post-goal fist pump.
James Neal Didn't have the offensive production we'd expect, and other than the Penguins game, didn't appear to be overly physical either.
Steve Ott As mentioned, him and Jamie Benn are getting to be quite the one-two punch (somewhat literally) on the ice.  Jamie's hard work led to an Ott goal against the Pens and Ott's hard work led directly to a Benn goal against the Coyotes.
Toby Petersen A consistently reliable penalty killer.  Many teams in the NHL we suspect would kill to have as steady a fourth line defending center as Toby is.
Mike Ribeiro He's so overdue for a goal it's almost comical at this rate.  Ribs seems to have a great attitude about the goal-less dry spell though and as long as he's setting his teammates up - which he did four times this week - he's still a big part of the team offense.
Brad Richards When Richards has time and space to be creative with the puck, he can put up big numbers like he did against Phoenix and Pittsburgh.  He didn't have as much free time and space in Colorado however.
Brandon Segal It seems that as long as Segal has his physical game going, he also generates chances for himself offensively..  But when he doesn't - like say his game against Phoenix - he almost disappears off the ice entirely.
Brian Sutherby As long as he keeps playing a good physical game, limits errors and plays sound positionally - all things he has done - then there is no reason why he can't stay in the lineup on a nightly basis.