The time off was nice and needed, even though they seem to have come out of it more beat up than they went into it with the revelation of Steve Ott's hip pointer that will keep him out at least this weekend.
But there are also potential drawbacks to such a long layoff, most notable rust. Mark Stepneski of ESPN Dallas writes that the coach staff is well aware of this and believes they have taken the steps in practice so that this won't be a problem.
"I talked to the guys about that and I said the only way we can get prepared to play tomorrow is to practice hard today and make sure we are at a high compete level against one another," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said after Thursday’s practice. "We’ve got to practice the way we play, so they’re ready for tomorrow."
After the jump, Razor and Rich Gosselin give their takes on the team, the Canadian media is obviously bored and a woolly mammoth tusk makes an appearance.
- I can't read this story because it's behind the DMN's paywall, but I'm usually a big fan of Rich Gosselin, and he seems to have pinpointed the success of the Stars power play to be Brenden Morrow and the hurting Steve Ott. [DallasNews.com]
- A look at the seven Stars newcomers and how they've done in the opening stretch. [Fox Sports Southwest]
- Mac Engel caught up with Razor to talk Stars hockey. Nothing really surprising, though I guess you could read a lot into his comment about how the players liked to play for Dave Tippett, which could imply that things were... not so much with Marc Crawford. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
- This is how you know the Canadian media is bored. Over on The Score is a story about the results of an NHL12 game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Dallas Stars with Sidney Crosby back in the lineup. Why is this news? I really don't know... [TheScore.ca]
- In a story that's apparently built around Twitter hashtags the NHL thinks should be trending, the Stars make an appearance where they are kind of insulted, then praised by the writer. [NHL.com]
- Not only do the Stars have the cheapest tickets in the NHL, at least according to the Fan Cost Index, but they also apparently have the cheapest beer. Does that mean more for everyone? [Puck Daddy]
- Meet the enemy, part the first: The Colorado Avalanche are apparently looking to shake up their roster, and they did so by moving stud youngster Matt Duchene to a wing with Paul Stastny and Milan Hejduk. [Denver Post]
- Meet the enemy, part the second: Our friends over at Mile High Hockey look at what that line change might mean in a wonderfully titled post. I get the sense they like the sarcasm over there. [Mile High Hockey]
- Around the Pacific Division, the winners: Well, only one team was a real winner, and it took the skills competition for the San Jose Sharks to complete a 4-3 comeback over the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Anaheim Ducks, meanwhile, got the loser point from the skills competition as they fell 2-1 to the New York Rangers. [Yahoo/Yahoo]
- Around the Pacific Division, the losers: In the "no points for them" category, the Phoenix Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings got shut out by identical 3-0 scores by the Nashville Predators and Edmonton Oilers, respectively. [Yahoo/Yahoo]
- Around the Pacific Division, the strange: The Sharks gave center Joe Thornton, who was celebrating his 1,000th career game, a woolly mammoth tusk. That's too strange to make up, as the look on his kid's face says. [San Jose Mercury-News]
- The Stars sadly didn't post after-practice video interviews (and I waited until 4 a.m. for them, look how dedicated I am for you guys!), so instead I present to you the occupational hazards of being an NHL linesman.