It was only five games ago when the Stars celebrated their triumphant return to health with a full compliment of players against the Minnesota Wild. That lasted all of about 2 hours before Adam Burish left the game with a leg injury and things have been getting worse since. The list now looks like Burish, Loui Eriksson, Karlis Skrastins and Nick Grossman, or, half of their special teams players.
So one game in six days comes at a good time for their aching heads, legs, hips and whatever else, but it will be extremely tough to watch in the standings.
Extolling the virtues of last night's overtime/shootout loss point and touting moral victories is not something we want to do as bloggers or fans, and the players certainly don't think like that either, but it's hard to ignore the importance of getting a point versus no points these days. If anything we're all kicking ourselves that they didn't get a Bettman point against the Kings last Sunday. 86 points would look so much better today with Nashville creeping up and the Ducks refusal to just go away already.
Both of those developments are attributed in large part to the many failings of the Los Angeles Kings and Detroit Red Wings who could have done the Stars a solid favor last night but neither could score more than one goal in their own buildings. It was a good night for road teams in the Western Conference.
Let us hope that does not continue tonight and tomorrow because the Flames are making a swing through Southern California that could severely cripple them going forward.
Hard though it would be to watch the Ducks get two more points and pass the Stars in the standings, two losses in back to back games would all but end Calgary's chance and another team could be crossed off the list. Two losses would mean Calgary would have to be very nearly perfect (6-0-1 or 6-1-0) the rest of the way to get in.
The Stars would then have the opportunity to stay ahead of the Ducks by virtue of playing them twice the rest of the way. Whatever else happens, the two games against the Ducks and the one in Nashville are the ones they simply must have.
Settle in for this three day break and just know that if Anaheim and Nashville do well then there is a good chance both of them are ahead of the Stars by the time play resumes on Wednesday. The break will be excruciating for scoreboard watching, but it will be good for the Stars health, which sadly is in need of some time once again.