A losing week! Scandal! Outrage! They're falling, fading, failing, faltering! F that. The Stars bought into their own press and played twenty good minutes in Calgary. Later, they chucked 43 shots on net in the second night of a back-to-back set. The Edmonton Oilers were the major beneficiary that night. Funny thing, though, Dallas still stumbled into a four-point week. That's basically 2-1. Wouldn't we be having a little bit different of a conversation if that were the case?
I'm going to worry if this turns into four of seven, or seven from ten. Those are nasty numbers, slump numbers. For now, I'm intrigued. I'm thinking about the veterans Jim Nill signed, the emerging young core on the Stars. They were never making it through an entire season without being tested. All things considered, 20-5-2 is as good a time as any to get a gut check.
Vernon Fiddler (57.1% FOW / 7 SOG / 11:36 ATOI) - Fiddler registered an assist as well in what was, generally, an up week. He'll be another player to watch if things start to stutter.
Patrick Sharp (1 G / 60% ZSO / 6 High-Danger Chances) - Sharp got Ruffled this week, and saw time throughout the lineup as his coach tried to find a spark. From New Guy to Glue Guy.
Jason Spezza (2 G / 70.2% CF / 74.4% ZSO) - If I wanted to nit-pick, I'd point out that Spezza slipped from excellent to simply good on the dot this week (51.3% FOW). I don't want to nit-pick. I just want him scoring goals.
Tyler Segiun (1 G / 1 Pt / 17 SOG) - Seguin seemed quiet this week. He's still shooting, and still scoring a little. We'll hold off on worry one more week.
Mattias Janmark (2 G / 65.3% CF / 7 High-Danger Chances) - Back in the goals this week. More importantly, Janmark looked more dynamic on his skates.
Valeri Nichushkin (1 G / 3 Pts / 15:00 ATOI) - Nuke saw time with the top line this week and did not disappoint. Yes, there are still hiccups, but by and large Nichushkin continues to earn valuable offensive minutes with his production and creativity.
Alex Goligoski (3 A / 50% ZSO / +9 SC) - Picked up the scoring slack with Klingberg struggling? Yes, that was supposed to be a question. The stink of the Calgary collapse sort of hangs over the whole group, but Goose's production keeps him up.
Antoine Roussel (30.4% CF / 37.5% ZSO / 1 H) - Rooster did the dirty work this week. Despite being buried in the defensive zone, Antoine's lines only surrendered a pair of goals against. It'll work.
Colton Sceviour (0 Pts / 11:30 ATOI / +8 SC) - Sceviour played in a much more defensive posture than I expected (44% ZSO). He responded by throwing the body (4 H / 4 Blk) and by drawing a pair of penalties. Good work.
Patrik Nemeth (2 GP / 14:06 ATOI / 1 GA) - Injuries elsewhere on the blueline have created an opportunity. Can Nemeth take advantage, or will he be back to the bench once bodies get healthy?
Johnny Oduya (0 GA / 34.2% ZSO / 1 A) - Eight goals against as a team, and Oduya missed each and every one of them. Granted, he was only on the ice for one Stars goal, but with such brutal usage that's hardly a surprise.
Jamie Oleksiak (2 GP / 13:18 ATOI / 5 Blk) - Like Nemeth, Oleksiak got more of a look last week than anytime in recent memory. It'll take more than two solid-if-unspectacular games to really make an impression. Question is, does he get the time?
Kari Lehtonen (1 GP / 2 GAA / 1 W) - Kari made his return from injury in time to beat the Canucks Thursday night. Don't let the .875 SV% fool you, Lehtonen came up with the stops his team needed to get the win.
Jordie Benn (2:12 ASHTOI / 1 A / 13 Hits Taken) - Steady, mostly. Quiet as well. The assist was nice, and is enough to keep Jordie in our good graces.
Patrick Eaves (2 GP / 12:00 ATOI / -3 SC) - Missed the game against Edmonton. Quiet in a pair before that. Eaves has had a few good looks recent, but not a much more. If the Stars slump, does that mean he falls out of the lineup?
Ales Hemsky (12:06 ATOI / 1:18 APPTOI / 0 Pts) - Hemsky looked very good against the Oilers, but skated away with nothing to show for his efforts. An unfortunately common refrain so far this season.
Jyrki Jokipakka (1 GP / 17:48 TOI) - Jyrki took scratches this past week against both Vancouver and Calgary. He's a bit banged up, which might open the door for other members of Dallas' young defensive backend.
John Klingberg (0 Pts / +31 SC / +11 High-Danger Chances) - Is it fair to downcheck the guy because he didn't do anything magical? How far can we bury a defense that still only surrendered 8 goals over a 3 game stretch? This is another gut call. Klingberg has, relative to his personal standards, been struggling lately.
Jamie Benn (0 Pts / 79.9 PDO / 67.8% CF) - Brutal luck and great possession are great reasons to avoid worry. Thing is, Stars fans have watched Benn drift in and out of prolonged slumps over the past few seasons. Sounds like a confusing middle to me.
Antti Niemi (2 GP / 2 L / 5 GA) - Niemi was heroic for two periods in Calgary, which likely explains a so-so shootout. Against the Oilers he made a number of high quality saves while the team in front of him struggled to find the back of the net. It's either two losses and down, or two rescued points and up, or, you know, the non-committal middle.
Cody Eakin (1 G / 39% CF / 42.4% ZSO) - Another mystery. Some nasty #fancystats, but Eakin scored again this week. Overall, he's on pace for 39 points this season, which is one shy of his career high. Some good, some bad.
Travis Moen (1 GP / 6:30 TOI / 75% ZSO) - Finally back into the lineup, but beyond a penalty, Moen didn't really make much of an impact.
On the Shelf
Jason Demers (1 GP / 1 A) - Injured this week. That's bad news for Stars fans.