What a difference one game can make. How many Dallas Stars fans were actively dreading Thursday night’s game against the St. Louis Blues? (Just admit it.) Yet when our injury-depleted heroes found a way not just to win, but to dominate, all our hopes came back in a dizzying rush.
Now the trick is to keep that momentum going. Head coach Lindy Ruff says his team believes it can, again:
"It was important for us, because of the psyche of the team," Ruff said of the win. "I thought emotionally our team was really engaged in the game. There's a lot of plays they laid it on the line. We got rewarded for going to the net, we got people there. We got some breaks, finally, where we haven't gotten any, and I think if we maintain that type of presence, we'll get results."
And part of that belief is about playing their own game, and not trying on a more cautious version of themselves that isn’t themselves at all:
"That's something we've been talking about a lot as a team," [John] Klingberg said of an aggressive attack that includes activating defensemen. "I think there was a lot of situations when we didn't score but it was close, and you build momentum. That was our game plan. We worked real hard to follow our game plan, and that won us a game."
Now, they hope to win a couple more.
"I think it's going to be huge," forward Adam Cracknell said of the home-and-home with Chicago. "It's a huge test for us, especially back-to-back, and they are big character games for both teams. We got rewarded by playing the right way last night and those are the bounces we're working towards, so I think if we learn from last game, that we keep getting to the dirty areas and scoring those goals, the nice ones will come."
There’s more at Mike’s place.
Mark Stepneski has a Stars-Blackhawks preview to tide you over until game time.
Another Big Test: Stars look to build on win over St. Louis as they take on Chicago in home-and-home https://t.co/qPMesProJz— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) November 5, 2016
Sean Shapiro writes that with Jiri Hudler still out sick, Gemel Smith can look forward to at least two more NHL games.
Jamie Benn keeps finding ways to get work done even when he’s fighting injured. [SportsDayDFW]
The Stars will need his scoring touch this weekend, because #fancystats say no netminder is outperforming Corey Crawford at the moment. [Second City Hockey]
And Marian Hossa, at age 37, came back rested after the Blackhawks’ unusually long summer and has started the season strong. [Sportsnet]
Don’t forget to thank Chicago’s perennial cap woes for giving us Stephen Johns as a throw-in to seal the Patrick Sharp salary dump. [SportsDayDFW]
And Razor shot his entire post-Blues Emporium in a parking garage just to prove a point.
Another honor for the Captain, as JaBenn is named to receive Heart of Dallas Young Professionals’ 2016 Community Excellence Award.
When was the last time you saw a good story about Tyler Seguin and his dogs? Here’s a teaser for the next episode of “Stars Insider.”
And the 2016 electile-dysfunction jokes just keep coming.
The #MDK keeps #MDK-ing: Brandon Tanev scored two of the Winnipeg Jets’ four third-period goals as they defeated the Detroit Red Wings 5-3. [Arctic Ice Hockey]
Most of the Murderous Central action happens tonight, though. Here’s who else is playing:
- Colorado Avalanche vs. Minnesota Wild, 2 p.m. Central time
- St. Louis Blues vs. Columbus Blue Jackets, 6 p.m. Central time
- Nashville Predators vs. Carolina Hurricanes, 7 p.m. Central time
Oh, and now everyone wants to talk about how tough this division is, for a living. [NHL on NBC]
Dear me: The Blue Jackets hung 10 – that’s a 1 and a zero – goals on Al Montoya last night as the so-hot-right-now Sergei Bobrovsky shut out the Montreal Canadiens. You can see all those goals here.
If you look closely you can see the part where my expected points model doesn't know what to make of the score. pic.twitter.com/VpqcJdxQNt— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) November 5, 2016
But the highlight video everyone’s talking about came from the Arizona Coyotes’ 5-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks, when Max Domi played Aaron Downey to Ryan Kesler’s Jesse Boulerice.
Speaking of the ’Yotes, Dave Tippett sat down with Alex Prewitt for a Q&A about his increased role in Arizona’s rebuild (and the home motorcycle shop where he destresses between games). [Sports Illustrated]
Now that the Chicago Cubs have snapped a 108-year losing streak to win themselves a World Series, which of the longest-suffering NHL franchises is closest to ending its own drought – and where do the St. Louis Blues fall on this spectrum? [The Hockey News]
Remember that outdoor game the Ottawa Senators wanted to play on Parliament Hill as part of the Canadian sesquicentennial, and it was going to be incredible and awe-inspiring and iconic and all those movie-review clichés? Yeah, that’s not gonna happen.
Finally: Brandon Worley offers this handy pro tip for getting to the good stuff on the Stars’ new website. You’re welcome.