It looked for awhile like everything was going the Dallas Stars’ way: they were 5-0 with the yellow laces, they were fixing their road woes, and secondary scoring was finally a thing.
Then came consecutive losses to the Predators and the Blues, both division rivals. Which isn’t all that surprising, considering the Stars currently stand at 4-8 in the Central. But it gets worse than that:
And in those six losses to the top three in the Central Division, the Stars have been outscored 25-8.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) December 8, 2017
If the Stars want to be competing for a playoff spot come April, then they have to start winning against good teams. And unfortunately for Dallas, the Central is full of those.
In case you missed the game, here are the two non-empty netters:
Brayden Schenn. Who else? pic.twitter.com/8G9gZpHfnA— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) December 8, 2017
Here’s Ken Hitchcock post-game thoughts on the shutout loss:
"We're going to make some changes. The lineup the way it is now, we're not getting much across the board, so we'll have to look at what changes we can make." pic.twitter.com/Ud2JZfZeiR— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) December 8, 2017
More Stars News
If Hitchcock thinks Radek Faksa’s line is the only one producing, should he risk breaking it up? Sean Shapiro thinks that the team should try icing the young Czech between Jamie Benn and Alexander Radulov. [The Upset]
Martin Hanzal and Marc Methot are skating again, but don’t expect to see them playing in the near future. [SportsDay DFW]
Before the game, Scott Burnside chatted up one of the Blues’ hottest players right now: off-season acquisition Brayden Schenn.
A little pre-game viewing as we caught up with Brayden Schenn for our Counterattack segment. https://t.co/ebJqF7ldjo— Scott Burnside (@OvertimeScottB) December 7, 2017
All of that hard work and patience has finally paid off for Greg Pateryn, who has gone from borderline roster player to a big minute-eater. [The Upset]
Around the League
Knowing that I had to find Links for today, the NHL decided to announce a whole bunch of stuff yesterday. First up: Seattle has been given the green light to begin the expansion bid process. [NHL]
Second, the Carolina Hurricanes officially have a new majority owner (pending approval, of course):
The Canes will be staying in Raleigh, too. Here’s our SB Nation sibling with a more detailed look at the saga. [Canes Country]
Of course not all news from yesterday was good:
Lost in the Seattle and Carolina storylines at the NHL Board meeting, was the update by Murray Edwards on the Calgary Arena situation. Edwards told the group he was not optimistic about a new home for the Flames.— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) December 8, 2017
There were only two other Central teams to play last night, and thankfully for the Stars, both lost:
- The Blues have retaken the division lead, thanks to the Winnipeg Jets dropping a 6-4 decision to the Florida Panthers. [NHL]
- Boy does this headline sound familiar: “Penalties Sink Colorado in 5-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning” [Mile High Hockey]
And since you haven’t seen enough about Brayden Schenn in this Links post already, Ryan Lambert talks about whether the center is the real deal or not in his mailbag:
Tired of Power Rankings that focus on nothing but #grit? Take a peak at Scott Cullen’s analytic based rankings. [TSN]
Matthew Tkachuk was suspended one game for spearing an opposing player from the bench. Is he becoming the new Claude Lemieux? [The Hockey News]
Here’s a fun read: Dave Lozo explores how some impending Free Agents could form a Super Team in the NHL. He actually lists the Stars as one of the three teams that could make it happen (the other two are also in the Central, coincidentally).
Tavares. Karlsson. Doughty. Can the NHL finally create a super team? Yes! Probably not. But maybe! Here's how: https://t.co/KpbOEHtYyL— DL (@davelozo) December 7, 2017
Quite a few GM’s escaped a firing this past offseason; have any of their seats cooled down since then? [FanRag Sports]
Everyone’s eyes yesterday were on the Seattle and/or Carolina news, but there was some equally important news earlier in the day, courtesy of Ben Lovejoy: