Why on earth would Jason Spezza attach himself to this mess? Yes, millions of dollars help, but he was going to get his money. We spoke a bit about the impending deal on this week’s podcast (#namedrop, #shamelessplug), and why it’s a major vote of confidence for the Dallas Stars. The bottom line is that this is a group with good guts. Even in the middle of a brushfire, the Stars can claim a youthful, skillful foundation the envy of most teams in the NHL.
That an elite player at a premium position would elect to spend four years of his competitive prime in Dallas is a huge vote of confidence. Furthermore, the fact GM Jim Nill was able to get Spezza locked in for just four years is yet another sign the team is trending in the right direction.
There will still be downs, but wins are coming.
Jamie Benn (4 GP / 1 G / 3 A) – And Stars Nation exhales. Jamie was back in the goals this week, and at least closer to the heart-and-soul player we’ve come to love. The Captain isn’t all the way back to his best quite yet, but it’s coming.
Erik Cole (4 GP / 1 A / 100.26 PDO) - Maybe I'm the problem. Cole was perfectly serviceable this week. There were a few hard-charging shifts, and a few forgettable ones. He stays up because maybe he's just a depth guy doing depth guy things..
Cody Eakin (4 GP / 2G / 43.67% FOW) – Eakin also has an assist over the last week, which puts him at nearly a point per game on the top line. The faceoff circle remains an issue, but otherwise Eakin has been an asset since his return.
Vern Fiddler (4 GP / 3 A / 8 S) – Did you know last night snapped a 3 game point streak for Fiddler? He spent the last week doing Vern Fiddler things (aka helping his team all over the ice).
Alex Goligoski (4 GP / 1 A / 6.02% Fenwick Rel) – Quietly a reliable, steady spot on an otherwise tumultuous Dallas defensive unit. Goose played more than 25 minutes in all but one game this past week.
Ales Hemsky (4 GP / 3 A / 10 S) – A three point week? A two point game? Coach said to shoot more, and coming out of his benching, Hemsky seems to have listened. Could this be a turning point?
John Klingberg (4 GP / 1 G / 3 A) – What a goal! Klingberg did get a bailout save from Kari, but didn’t seem to let the error follow him. That’s critical for a rookie, and for a struggling defense. At 140 lbs, the kid has got to learn to duck some of those big hits.
Antoine Roussel (4 GP / 2 Pts / 7 SOG) – Saw powerplay time in every game this week. Roussel also threw seven hits against the Wild. Very effective.
Tyler Seguin (4 GP / 2 G / 13 SOG) – Leads the entire NHL in goals, and (probably) awesome. Did you know Seguin is over 50% on the dot this season (51%)? Yeah, I know he’s a Right Wing at the moment, I’m just pointing out one less thing he’s bad at.
Jason Spezza (4 GP / 4 Years / $30 Million) – Off the ice, Spezza signing a long term extension is a huge win for both player and team. This is a guy who could have written his own ticket, and elected to stay in Dallas. On the ice, the slick center put up three points over the past four games (1 G / 2 A). Not a bad week.
Good Kari Lehtonen (2 GP / .9388 Sv% / 3 GA) – Held Dallas in against Minnesota and against the Arizona Coyotes. When he’s on, there’s no doubting the big Finn’s influence on the Stars.
Bad Kari Lehtonen (2 GP / .8413 Sv% / 10 GA) – Wilting under the Blackhawk blitz is understandable, but Kari was as culpable as anybody against the Hurricanes. When he’s off, there’s no doubting the big Finn’s influence on the Stars.
Jordie Benn - (3 GP / 0 Pts / -4) - Benched by week's end is about as down as you can be.
Trevor Daley (4 GP / -5 / -19% Fenwick Rel) - Arizona was his first good effort of the week. Stars' fans hope it's a sign the veteran D-man is pulling out of his November tailspin.
Shawn Horcoff (4 GP / 1 G / 11:33 ATOI) – Reduced minutes this past week limited Horcoff’s effectiveness. A well-taken goal helps, but not quite enough.
Anders Lindback (1 GP / 2 GA / 21:31 TOI) – Lindback got mop up duty after the Hurricanes chased Lehtonen. Hard to blame him for the breakaway goal, hard to call it up when he still can’t get a game.
Curtis McKenzie (3 GP / 1 G / 1 Scratch) – His first career goal was a beauty of a tip. There just wasn’t much else, and by week’s end the young Star was watching from the press box. Hard to read the rookie right now.
Colton Sceviour (3 GP / 3 SOG / 3 H) – Benched against Chicago, but over 13 minutes versus Arizona and Carolina. Ice time isn’t the problem, production is. He needs a goal badly.
Patrick Eaves (1GP / 12:55 TOI / +1) – A week mostly on the IR keeps Eaves in-between, but it sure was nice to see him back against Arizona.
Ryan Garbutt (3 GP / Out 1 Week) – An upper body injury kept Garbutt out against the ‘Yotes. It’s a tough blow for the Stars during an important stretch of games.
Jyrki Jokipakka (1 GP / 13:18 TOI / 2 PIM) – It wasn’t a penalty, but it did turn into a powerplay goal. One game is too small a sample to say much, but he acquitted himself well, I thought.
Travis Moen (3 GP / 3 S / 4 H) – Moen came over in the Gonchar trade, and threw his weight around as a part of Dallas’ depth unit. Got 13:26 of ice time against the Coyotes as his role with the team continues to emerge.
Jamie Oleksiak (4 GP / 6 Blk / 7 H) – Ducked below 10 minutes for the 2nd and 3rd time this season against Chicago and Arizona, but it feels like Oleksiak is coming along a little bit. Not an up quite yet, but watch him.
On the Shelf