No matter how cool you pretend to be now, it's a pretty safe bet there's a least one really awkward phase of your life you're trying to pretend never happened. (Completely unrelated note: Do not give your child bangs, round Harry Potter-style glasses, and overalls all at the same time.) But no matter how awful that phase might have been, you eventually grew out of it. And that, Josh Bogorad thinks, is what the Stars are dealing with: their awkward years.
Starting strong does not preclude you from getting permanently derailed. If you right the ship, a slump becomes a footnote. If you don't, it could become the story of your season. Fans who followed the Stars back in 2011 know all too well that harsh reality.
Slumps are like your awkward teen years. Nobody wants to go through them, but everybody does. It's how you come out of it that really dictates who you become. And let's face it, some do it better than others.
Still, there's no need to start really panicking. Not yet, at least. The team's strong start gives them a nice cushion while they try to figure out a way to get back on track.
In prior years, the Stars haven't had the collateral to pay for such a stretch. And it cost them. This year they do. But they just spent a good portion of it, and the rest of the league is not letting up. A once enormous lead in the Central Division has disappeared. Other teams in the West are closing in as well.
Sometimes a setback can provide renewed motivation. And it's easier to learn from a loss than a win. In a long season, teams go through ups and downs together and how they respond to both determines what type of future they inherit. The stretch that the Stars just went through could wind up being instrumental to this season - for better or worse.
There's more on the Stars and their slump at the link. [On the Radar]
In case you missed yesterday's biggest news, the Stars placed Jordie Benn on IR and recalled Esa Lindell. Mike Heika talks about why the team made the decision to bring Lindell up. [SportsDayDFW]
Everyone had nice things to say about Lindell.
Last week a scout told me he thought Lindell was the best defenseman not playing in the NHL right now. #txstars— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) January 18, 2016
Dallas call up Lindell has been one of the best players in the AHL this season and was named top defenseman at the Worlds last spring.— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) January 18, 2016
And here's the man of the hour himself.
The Stars need Jamie Benn not to try quite so hard. [SportsDayDFW]
Razor keeps us up-to-date on his latest thoughts—or "Raziphanies," if you will. This batch includes musings on goalie interference, John Scott, and the importance of local TV broadcasts. [Razor With an Edge]
From Gary Bettman to Mike Babcock, a look at 25 people who wield impressive power over the NHL. A familiar face also earns a spot on the Watch List.
4. Tom Gaglardi The owner of the Dallas Stars. He has assembled a fantastic hockey front office with Jim Lites and Jim Nill in the lead, giving them enough cash to rebuild a once bankrupt team. The Stars are a team and business making a huge difference in Texas.
You can catch the rest of the list at the link. [Sportsnet]
Previously, on #MurderDeathKill...
- A four-point night from Paul Stastny boosted the Blues to a 5-2 win over the Penguins. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
- The Avalanche defeated the Jets 2-1, and Jerome Iginla scored his 602 goal to move into sole possession of the 18th spot on the all-time goals list. [NHL]
About 20 home games in, and the Stars are middle-of-the-pack as far as attendance goes this year. They're up around 1,000 from last season and a whopping 4,000 from 2013-14. [My NHL Trade Rumors]
Born in Netanya, Israel, 16-year-old David Levin has followed a unique path in order to chase his dream of playing in the NHL. [New York Times]
The Canucks will be short one Sedin for the near future.
Coach Desjardins says Henrik Sedin will likely be sent home from NYC. Won't likely be back in game action until after the All Star break.— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) January 18, 2016
It's no skin off Corey Crawford's nose if other people don't consider him to be an elite goaltender. [The Hockey News]
Okay, okay, maybe it's not the end of the world if John Scott plays in the All-Star Game. [Sports Illustrated]
And finally, here's the latest of edition of junior hockey gone wild.