What's gone right: The Stars raced to the top of the NHL standings with the best 21-game start in their history (17-4-0) and are in position to make the playoffs for the second time in eight seasons. Dallas is first in non-shootout goals (160) and second in goals per game (3.20).
But considering the team headed into the All-Star Break with a 3-6-2 record in January, everything isn't hunky dory. Here's what needs improvement if the Stars want to make sure their slump is a thing of the past.
Needs: Help on special teams. Although Dallas' power play is fifth in the League, it was 4-for-35 (11.4 percent) in its past 13 games and allowed two shorthanded goals in a 3-1 loss to the Avalanche on Jan. 23. The Stars are 21st in penalty killing.
And finally, a little more good news.
Outlook: The Stars are playing to capture the best record in the West and have an outside chance at the Presidents' Trophy. Once they're in the playoffs, advancing to the Western Conference Second Round is a reasonable expectation if they can tighten up their defense and if either Niemi or Lehtonen seizes the No. 1 goalie role.
There's more on the Stars and the rest of the #MDK at the link. [NHL]
Mike Heika talks about how the Stars will tackle their next 32 games. [SportsDayDFW]
Brendan Ranford and Esa Lindell debuted in the AHL All-Star Classic last night (which Lindell called "boring"). [Wrong Side of the Red Line]
If you missed Tyler Seguin's segment on the Ticket yesterday afternoon, never fear. You can still hear his thoughts on the All-Star Game and swearing in front of Canada. [BaD]
Speaking of Seguin, Sportsnet says you should keep an eye on him during the second half of the season.
Tyler Seguin: The best centre on the NHL's most offensively dynamic team, Seguin is a superstar who just turned 24. The Dallas Stars' top-line combo of Seguin and Benn will keep torturing Central Division rivals down the stretch. Seguin isn't in the MVP discussion only because he, Benn and defenceman John Klingberg share credit for the Stars' success.
And there are a few other players to watch at the link. [Sportsnet]
Razor talks about putting an end once and for all to the team's January slump. [Stars]
In case you missed it, a Denis Gurianov update:
@StarsInsideEdge Lada have reassigned Denis Gurianov to Ladia (MHL)— Евгений Чурилин (@ChEV_37) February 1, 2016
And now that the wonder rookie is on the ice again, here's the real question: Is it too late for him to win the Calder? [The Hockey News]
Over at Down Goes Brown, Sean McIndoe has a rundown of everything that happened at the All-Star Game. [DGB]
John Scott's participation in the ASG will be immortalized in the HHOF.
Happy to confirm John Scott's helmet & other artifacts from the @NHL All-Star Game will be on display soon at the Hockey Hall of Fame.— Hockey Hall of Fame (@HockeyHallFame) February 1, 2016
While we're on the subject of John Scott, what's next for All-Star Game MVP? Fame with the IceCaps? A movie? More? [Sportsnet]
TSN's Scott Cullen breaks down which players around the league should be getting more ice time. [TSN]
Get a sneak peek at the new NHL.tv courtesy of the folks over at Slate. [Slate]
In case you couldn't guess, it's good to score first. In fact, of the first 740 games played so far this season, the team that's scored first has won 533 times (and snagged a point in 67). [The Star]
This year, John Scott stole the stage at the All-Star Game. Last year, it was Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and his bid to win a new car for the American Special Hockey Association's Washington Ice Dogs. Honda stepped in to provide a car, and here's what's happened since then. [RMNB]
And finally, here are your three stars of the month.