The last time I wrote one of these, I was lamenting an embarrassing loss to Toronto. So, to all Dallas Stars fans, you're welcome! I'm glad the biting, stat-based evaluations in this column were the spark that lit the match of a successful road trip. Any successful season is built on the contributions of many. One team, one dream.
On that note, this was a weird trip for the Dallas offense. Yeah, there's the Seguin hat trick in Boston (ha!) and Jamie somehow coaxed an assist out of the Red Wings (on the second empty netter, no less), but those are just the undercard. This week's scorers included Radek Faksa, Jyrki Jokipakka, and a back from wherever Ales Hemsky.
Valeri Nichushkin (1 G / 1 A / 4 SOG) - The goal was long deserved. Nuke also deserves an informal helper on Jokipakka's tally. This was a really good week for the young Russian.
Kari Lehtonen (3 GP / 1.67 GAA / .946 Sv%) - Started (and won) all three games this week. The capstone win in Detroit was straight up throwback Lehtonen. Your move, Niemi.
Radek Faksa (1 G / 12:12 ATOI / 34.7% CF) - Gets the old "first career goal" free pass into the Up column. Outside of that seemed to find chemistry with fellow rookie Devin Shore and the rejuvenated Valeri Nichushkin.
Mattias Janmark (52.8% ZSO / 4 iHSC / 15:48 ATOI) - Still a little bit sheltered in terms of zone starts, managed just a single assist, but Janmark continues to be a major fixture in the Stars' lineup.
Colton Sceviour (2 A / 6 SOG / 14 ATOI) - Picked up a couple of points this week, and punished opposition goaltenders with a flurry of shots. A nice week, all things considered.
Tyler Seguin (4 G / 6 Pts / 56.1% FOW) - Be honest, Tyler Seguin has made ALL Stars fans cry at some point.
Patrick Sharp (2 G / 16:12 ATOI / 6 H) - Now that he's on track, the guy just can't stop scoring. Even shook off a nasty collision with noted head-hunter Jason Spezza.
Devin Shore (11:54 ATOI / 1 SOG / 42.9% ZSO) - Showed good jump in his first NHL action on a line with Faksa and Nichushkin. There are signs he might be a player.
Jason Spezza (56.6% CF / 2 A / 1:48 APPTOI) - A quiet week for Spezza, an effective one, though.
Jordie Benn (4 Blk / 3:30 ASHTOI / 3 A) - Matched his brother's offensive output . Weird, right? Way to go, Jordie.
Jason Demers (1 G / 1:18 APPTOI / 3:36 ASHTOI) - Did a little bit of everything for the Stars this week. It's good to have him back in the lineup.
Alex Goligoski (1 G / 23:30 ATOI / 0 H) - Nice goal, Goose. Good week, overall.
Jyrki Jokipakka (1 G / 2 Pts / 16:36 ATOI) - The Stars have another high-scoring defenseman on their hands. Is Klingberg giving lessons?
John Klingberg (4 A / 3 PP Pts / 47.2% CF) - Very nearly outscored by several of his defensive colleagues. Just about the only thing Klingberg can't seem to do is avoid comparisons to Sergei Zubov.
Cody Eakin (35% FOW / 48.7% ZSO / 1 G) - A good, lunging effort on the second empty netter in Detroit can't hide what feels like a down week for the Gingah Ninja. A few games in a settled role might do Eakin a world of good right now.
Vernon Fiddler (37.2% FOW / 29% ZSO / 31% CF) - There was an assist, thank you very much. Like much of the rest of the roster, Fiddler seemed out of gas by the end of the long road trip. Credit for getting the job done, though.
Ales Hemsky (10:06 ATOI / 1 G / 2 GP) - Took a possibly-injury-induced scratch, struggling for ice time, but scored a goal. Maybe he's a little banged up, maybe he's about to go on a little run. You know what might disrupt things? Disciplinary action.
Jamie Benn (3 A / 5 H / - 7 High Danger Scoring Chances Against) - I think this might be my first "grading on a curve" of the season. It just felt like a bit of a slog this week for Jamie. It just means holy crap did you see the first month of the season?
In the Middle
Johnny Oduya (0 Pts / 8 Blks / 2 H) - Oduya failed to score a goal this week. Under normal circumstances, that's not a bad thing, but this week? That sort of a lack of production is going to get him made fun of.
Antoine Roussel (1 GP / 2 H / 1 Penalty Drawn) - Bothered by an upper body injury, Roussel has now been scratched in consecutive games.
Patrik Nemeth (DNP) - It can't feel great, but with the team playing so well would you put him back in the lineup? If yes, for who?
Jamie Oleksiak (DNP) - Like Nemeth, Oleksiak just can't fight his way into the lineup. It'll happen, or the team will go 79-3. Either way, Stars fans will be happy.
Antti Niemi (DNP) - It was Niemi's turn to watch this week, as coach Lindy Ruff continues to shuffle.
On the Shelf