Radek Faksa was called up to the Dallas Stars when injuries hit the forward corps near the turn of the year. Anticipated to be a fourth line guy, Faksa averaged about 10 minutes or so of ice time for the majority of his early games. However, the young forward quickly earned the trust of the coaching staff due to his two-way play on the ice.
Faksa came in and played defensively responsible hockey. As the season progressed, and injuries continued to hit some top six forwards for the Stars, Faksa was the guy that took on a bigger role. His minutes crept up into the 13-17 minute range.
More surprisingly, Faksa started to tack on minutes played on the penalty kill. His time on the unit coincided with an uptick in the effectiveness of the penalty kill by the Stars. As well, Faksa began playing at big moments in the game. Nothing says you have the trust of the coaching staff more than being sent to take a faceoff in the last minute of a game while trying to protect a one goal lead.
Faksa did that quite often down the stretch.
He was also one of the best forwards for the Stars in the playoffs. He found some synergy with Ales Hemsky and Antoine Roussel, and the trio terrorized against the Minnesota Wild. Faksa scored two game winning goals in the playoffs, joining Jason Spezza for the team lead. He finished with the 5th most time on ice in the playoffs, averaging approximately 16 minutes.