The Dallas Stars have returned home off their season-long six game road trip with a 3-2-1 record. Playing that many games away from home ice, combined with the team’s early struggles on the road, it’s a record well above most people’s expectations. Most would have called a .500 road trip a success two weeks ago.
It’s a positive trip, even if the play at time was less than dominant, to put it nicely. The team found ways to get wins anyway. That’s a good lesson to learn, as the Stars won’t always have their “A” game every night. Good teams find ways to manufacture wins or find points in those off nights, and Dallas did that this road trip.
But those lessons did not come without a bit of attrition on the injury front. Six games in 12 nights can do that.
That’s partly why the club announced today the recall of right winger Denis Gurianov from the AHL Texas Stars. With Alexander Radulov missing five of the team’s last six games and Brett Ritchie missing the last two games with illness (something that tends to then run rampant in locker rooms where germs are shared with ease), the Stars decided they needed to send Justin Dowling down and call up their top scoring winger from the AHL.
With the Stars scoring just two goals in their last six periods of hockey, and missing some consistency in the goal scoring department this season, Gurianov could help serve as a spark for some consistent scoring.
Hell, maybe he could serve as a spark for Tyler Seguin’s goal scoring again. The Stars’ top center has now matched a career-long goal scoring drought at 12 games (and counting). He moreso than anyone else seems to be missing having the spark plug Radulov riding shotgun with him. While Gurianov is not a Radulov, the former’s confidence in goal scoring riding next to Seguin could help get his own game back on track.
The move to recall Gurianov could indicate that Radulov is not ready to return to the lineup as the team was originally hoping for earlier in the road trip. It’s also a way to reward the young winger that has been lighting the AHL on fire this season. He’s scored six goals and 12 points in the Texas Stars’ first 11 games.