So the Stars roll into Boston with a .500 record. But far from that meaning Dallas is a middle of the pack team, it instead means they find themselves 12th out of 14 teams in the West. It's going to be a tough Conference this season...
Over the weekend, Down Goes Brown had an article about teams sitting 4 points back of the top 8 at the end of October. Which included the Stars. Apparently, it is exceedingly rare for those teams to reach the playoffs. Now, that doesn't mean that it's impossible to make up four points in the remaining 70 odd games. And obviously the stats are somewhat skewed as the teams 4 points out of a playoff spot so early in the season tend to be teams like this year's Sabres and Flyers, teams that don't have a snowball's chance in a hot place of making the playoffs.
Bubble teams, it's presumed, will still be clustered around the middle of the pack so early in the season. And the Stars should be. But the Conference is just so damned good. So does that mean that the Stars, by virtue of a slower start - compared to the rest of the division anyway - should be written off? Can we really use that as a predictor, or are there extenuating circumstances? Is this a team on the upswing who can start securing results on the ice?
Well, so far in November the Stars have three of a possible four points. But the next 8 games will be a tough test, as five of them come against some of the top teams in the league, both the Western and Eastern conferences. And all of those but the matchup against the Blackhawks will come on the road.
The first of which is tonight! The media circus is already in full swing, as Tyler Seguin makes his first return to Boston since the trade. I'm inclined to say Dallas won that trade, if for no other reason than that these Victory -green colored glasses have been perched on the bridge of my nose since the new uniforms were revealed. Oh, and because Seguin has been, in every facet but the faceoff dot, lights out.
Loui may well be returning tonight after being sidelined by his concussion. Here's hoping he takes the ice.
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Another bad day yesterday for the Eastern Conference, as Anaheim beat the Rangers, and Detroit fell to Winnipeg. Over at Kukla's Korner they were none too happy with the Red Wings' loss. More interesting though are the complaints about the manner of the loss. Mental mistakes, costly turnovers, a goalie hung out to dry. Hmm... [The Malik Report]
Remember Ray Emery getting a third star selection for using Braden Holtby as a punching bag? Frank Seravalli (who apparently made the call) defends it. For the record, I found it amusing... until I actually watched the 'fight.' [Puck Daddy]
Down Goes Brown's weekend recap, touching on some of the worst the league has to offer right now. [Grantland]