A night after seemingly everyone in the Central earned points for themselves, the Dallas Stars' task of climbing back anywhere near playoff contention seems difficult after a few off days, but their coach is looking at it like so many before him have said:
One cliche of a game at a time.
"It really is one game at a time. Let's move on to the next one," he told media Saturday. "I thought the guys put in a lot of work and were very receptive to what we tried to do for a couple of days. We've got a good practice day before we leave and we've got to have a good road trip. We've got to get back to playing good hockey on the road again."
They dispatched with the hapless New Jersey Devils despite watching their shot margin go from 36-20 to 36-30 in the third period. A more daunting foe awaits this evening int he Vancouver Canucks.
The Stars will apparently use the same lines and same defensive pairings as they did against the New Jersey Devils Saturday night- Effective units, save the opening and closing ten minutes of the game in which Dallas was significantly out-worked.
Travis Moen will be ready to go, but the expectation is that they stick with these.
So the intrigue is left in net, where Kari Lehtonen may start, but freshly re-called Anders Lindback has been promised a start in the next two.
"The goal was to get him down there, get him playing," Ruff told media Monday. "It does no good to get him down there playing well and then not play him. He'll get one of these first two games. We'll decide today or tomorrow which one we are going to give him."
Rynnas was re-called, presumably, to shore up the position at the NHL level. Now that Lindback has done well the moves are being represented as deliberate to this point... If he performs well then it makes perfect sense. Vancouver would be a rough place to start, however.
The Canucks missed the playoffs last season and many wondered if their run among contenders in the Western Conference had come to an abrupt halt. Then they started 18-7-1 under the guidance of former Texas Stars bench-boss Willie Desjardins and that talk quickly died.
Dallas handled them with facility at American Airlines Center early in October- Or so the scoreboard said. The 6-3 win was one of only two three-goal margins of victory for the Stars this season, but it was Vancouver with a 46-28 shot advantage on a night that really belonged to Kari Lehtonen.
On the plus-side, the Canucks are currently experiencing their first real adversity off the season, losing four-in-a-row, though it's been to Eastern Conference competition. In that stretch they've been out-scored 17-7 and have not converted on the power play.
They're 7-4-1 at home but have dropped three of their last five there. Curiously, they have not surrendered a power play opportunity to the opposition in their last two home games, so the Stars will have to find a way to stay equally clean, while besting them at evens.
Stanton-Weber (not that Weber)
According to NHL.com, "Goalie Ryan Miller is 1-3-0 with a 4.10 goals-against average and .837 save percentage in December. In his career against Dallas, Miller is 4-4-1 with a 3.40 GAA and .877 save percentage."
So they're telling us there's a chance.
There's a 100% chance of entertaining in-game banter here in our game day thread, so put your kids or significant other or whatever to bed and stay up late with us.
Fox Sports Southwest PLUS for your viewing pleasure this evening.
From Stars PR:
The Stars square off against the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night in the second of three matchups between the two clubs with the Stars taking the first contest 6-3 at American Airlines Center on Oct. 21. Dallas enters Tuesday's contest boasting a five-game winning streak over the Canucks having tallied wins in six of the last seven against them. The Stars swept Vancouver during the 2013-14 regular season posting a 3-0-0 record while outscoring Vancouver 12-3.