The end of the first 20 games of the season is always a time where teams stop to reflect on things that have gone right and wrong.
And as far as Dallas Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk is concerned, his team's first 20 games were basically positive despite the five-game losing streak.
"I’m pleased. We obviously went into a bit of a rut there, but I think we’re a learning team," Nieuwendyk said. "Our coach is implementing some things, we’re learning how to try to put our game out there. I’m hoping [Monday] night was the start of something good again."
Nieuwendyk cited his team's improved depth as the biggest positive for him, which was highlighted by the play of Radek Dvorak, Vernon Fiddler and Toby Petersen in Monday's 4-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers.
After the jump, more on the Stars game tonight against the Los Angeles Kings, what Razor thinks of the parade to the penalty box and Wayne Gretzky in Toronto, just for fun.
- Of all the things the Stars have been this year, consistent isn't really among them. Mike Heika explains why that needs to change in this paywalled article. [DallasNews.com]
- It was a quiet day out in Frisco with a lightly-attended optional skate. But one of those who dropped by was defenseman Alex Goligoski, who is still nursing a broken thumb but did some one-handed shooting anyways. [ESPN Dallas]
- Razor is not happy with either the penalty kill or the players who are putting the team on it. Sheldon Souray, Jamie Benn and Brenden Morrow, he's looking at you. [Razor With An Edge]
- A nice little anecdotal column about how Eddie Belfour never forgot where he came from. Most shocking revelation to me - Tony Hrkac scored 116 points one college season. Really? [Grand Forks Herald]
- Everyone's favorite bunny is back in the AHL as the Detroit Red Wings demoted Fabian Brunnstrom to Grand Rapids. Not quite sure why it appears they're using his Stars mug shot though. [MLive.com]
- Meet the enemy, part the first: Willie Mitchell (Willie Mitchell? Really?) scored the game-winning goal in the third period as the Los Angeles Kings defeated the St. Louis Blues 3-2 before heading to Dallas for tonight's game. [Los Angeles Times]
- Meet the enemy, part the second: The Kings will definitely be in Dallas, but Drew Doughty might not make an appearance if the Shanahammer comes down after a cross-check/board of T.J. Oshie. [ProHockeyTalk]
- Around the Pacific Division: The slightly-less-fun-than-Doughty holdout ended Monday when Kyle Turris singed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Phoenix Coyotes. [Arizona Republic]
- Oh Down Goes Brown, you always make my tough days better. This time, they use their crystal ball to figure out what would happen if Wayne Gretzky actually bought the Toronto Maple Leafs. [Down Goes Brown]
- Head coach Glen Gulutzan also talked about the Stars first 20 games after practice. At what point will I stopped being amused by the fact that he looks younger than 2/3 of the players on this team? Sources say next season.