Los Angeles 60, Calgary 59, Vancouver 56, Dallas 54.
So you’re telling me there’s a chance?
Avoiding the standings altogether is a good SOP for Stars fans to follow these days- Amazingly, however, they’re still sort of technically kinda in the mix. Which is infuriating- Because if they had just won a couple of OT games and held on to a couple of leads, things would be different right now.
Much different. Just a couple of... Forget it. Instead it’s the battle of two teams with rosters other fanbases are looking over like a food truck menu, money in hand.
We just talked about the Jets less than two weeks ago, just prior to their 4-3 win at American Airlines Center, capping a trio of victories over the Stars, Hawks and Blues that seemingly put them in the conversation.
We visited their considerable scoring prowess at the time, observing “Enter the Winnipeg Jets. They got Ken Hitchcock fired Tuesday night as they poured five goals on the Blues in a 5-3 win in St. Louis. Those five goals were preceded by five more in Chicago- A pretty salty feat in consecutive games.
Scoring has not been a problem for them recently- 4.33 per game over their last six outings in a nice 4-2-0 stretch...”
So they’re still killing it, right?
Errr, no. They’ve scored seven total goals in four game since their win over Dallas, losing all four to make six losses in their last nine, which has been bad enough, surprisingly, to actually sink them below the Stars based on points percentage despite Dallas’ exploits of late.
So we’ve got a couple of bad teams here.
For comedy, let’s look at the Winnipeg Sun and their keys to tonight’s game!
EYES ON SEGUIN
Although Stars sniper Tyler Seguin had a nine-game point streak against the Jets snapped in the last meeting between the two clubs on February 2, he's been a force against them during the course of his career – amassing 16 goals and 28 points in 27 games against them.
WIN THE SPECIAL-TEAMS BATTLE
The two clubs feature two of the four worst penalty-killing units in terms of efficiency, the Jets are 27th (77.0 per cent) and the Stars are 30th (73.7 per cent) and have given up at least one power-play goal in nine of the past 10 games. Whichever club happens to come out on top with the man-advantage would certainly increase its chances of walking away with a victory.
The big match-up
Jacob Trouba vs John Klingberg
Jets blue-liner Jacob Trouba is up to 24 points and closing in on his career high of 29, while the Stars defenceman has one goal and four points in four games against the Jets this season and five goals and 16 points in 13 career games. Both players require some extra attention. [Winnipeg Sun]
It’s hard to know what to say this time of year when you have to watch, you know...
Here’s a key to the game- Stay out of the box and keep Patrik Laine away from the puck. Fin.
They’ll be without Toby Enstrom for at least this game after he left the contest against the Lightning with a lower-body injury.
“It's a big game against another team that is kind of fighting for their playoff lives,” Andrew Copp told Canadian media yesterday. “You win three and you feel like we're getting right back to where we need to be in the playoff picture and then you lose four in a row. It's not a good feeling. We realize where we're at in terms of mindset and how we play.”
“It’s not a good feeling,” he says. At least misery will have a little company on Valentine’s Day. Though, I think Canada already celebrated Valentine’s Day in December.
From Stars PR:
READY FOR TAKEOFFThe Dallas Stars travel to Winnipeg to face the Jets on Tuesday night at MTS Centre for the fifth and final contest of the 2016-17 regular season. The Stars are 1-3-0 this season against the Jets and lost the most recent meeting between the two clubs, 4-3, on Feb. 2 at American Airlines Center. Captain Jamie Benn posted a game-high three points (1-2=3) with forward Patrick Eaves (1-1=2) and defenseman John Klingberg (1-1=1) each notched multi-point outings. The Stars have a 0-2-0 record this season in Winnipeg and recorded an 8-2 loss at MTS Centre on Nov. 8, 2016. In four games this season against the Jets, forward Patrick Eaves leads all Stars skaters with five points (3-2=5).
SHARP AS A KNIFEForward Patrick Sharp potted his first power play tally of the season (1-0=1) against Nashville on Sunday, snapping a six-game drought without a goal. During the 2016-17 campaign with the Stars, Sharp has posted 13 points (7-6=13) in 31 games. In 15 games away from American Airlines Center, the forward has posted eight points (5-3=8). The native of Thunder Bay, Ont. has points in two of his last three games against Winnipeg (0-4=4) with eight points (1-7=8) over his last eight games against the Jets. At MTS Centre, Sharp has points in five of his six career contests (3-2=5). The forward has 20 points (6-14=20) in 26 career games against the Jets franchise.