It’s good to be on a roll. At 8-8-1, the Dallas Stars have nearly played their way out of the deep and worrying pit of October. It was somehow fitting that they made level with a big divisional win over the Colorado Avalanche, whose own hot start has cooled off after injuries to key players.
Even better, this run has the team proclaiming the mystery of faith, in themselves. Stars senior staff writer Mike Heika devoted his latest post to their newfound swagger – even without their own leading lights like Roope Hintz and John Klingberg, who left the game with an injury last night. Radek Faksa, who scored twice, put it simply:
“I think hockey’s about confidence and we have lots of confidence right now,” said Faksa, who had two goals on the night. “We knew we had a great team, we had to just put a puzzle together -- and we did it the last eight games. We have to just keep going and keep winning, because it’s hard to make playoffs in this league.”
It’s a bold contrast between where they started and where they stand now:
The Stars won for the seventh time in eight games. They have erased a 1-7-1 start and now sit 8-8-1 on the year. That’s not great, but it’s a heck of a lot greater than where this team was just a week ago. When the Stars went down 3-0 to Minnesota last Tuesday, there were some predicting that major changes were coming. When they were struggling against the struggling Wild, there was an air of desperation at AAC.
But in 21 minutes last week, this team went from woeful to wondrous. And in doing so, it gained an immense amount of courage and conviction. That attitude has now carried through four very impressive wins, and now has Dallas in a place that is kind of cool.
And there’s more at Mike’s place. [Dallas Stars]
Sometimes, you just want to look through your albums and smile.
Not to be lost in all the excitement: Blake Comeau played a big game against his former club last night.
Blake Comeau chats with the media fresh off his 800th game in the @NHL.— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) November 6, 2019
"To hit a milestone like that is pretty cool. You kind of look back on your career and think about the people who helped you get here."#COLvsDAL | #GoStars pic.twitter.com/W4GxoS0uqy
Meanwhile, SERGEI ZUBOV SIGHTING:
Per Stars PR: Sergei Zubov is going to be around the organization a bit and watching games. Jim Nill has invited him to do so and wants to pick Zubov's brain on the game.— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) November 6, 2019
Around The League(s)
In On The #Kill Taker
- The Winnipeg Jets battled the New Jersey Devils to a shootout, but ultimately they couldn’t solve for Mackenzie Blackwood in a 2-1 loss. [All About The Jersey]
- Quinn Hughes made it interesting, and the St. Louis Blues made a meal of it, but they finally prevailed over the Vancouver Canucks 2-1 in OT. [Nucks Misconduct]
- The Minnesota Wild made some progress on cleaning up their road record with a 4-2 win against the Anaheim Ducks. [Hockey Wilderness]
- But a hot finish couldn’t make up for a cold start as the Chicago Blackhawks dropped a 4-2 contest to the San Jose Sharks. [Second City Hockey]
IT’S HAPPENING: Roope Hintz has hit the Fantasy Top 100, and Denis Gurianov is closing in.
#FantasyHockey forward ranks— NHL Fantasy on Ice (@NHLFantasy) November 5, 2019
1. McDavid, #LetsGoOilers
2. Pastrnak, #NHLBruins
3. Ovechkin, #AllCaps
4. Draisaitl, EDM
5. Marchand, BOS
6. MacKinnon, #GoAvsGo
43. Svechnikov, #LetsGoCanes
Full list via @NHLJensen on @NHLdotcom: https://t.co/6BKliEeXxu
Oh look, Miro Heiskanen is racing up the fantasy blueliner chart. If you can imagine.
#FantasyHockey top 50 defenseman rankings:— Rob Reese (@NHLReese) November 5, 2019
1. Carlson, WSH
2. Hedman, TBL
3. Josi, NSH
4. Hamilton, CAR
5. Burns, SJS
6. Rielly, TOR
7. Letang, PIT
8. Krug, BOS
9. Dahlin, BUF
10. Makar, COL
Full list on @NHLdotcom:https://t.co/z7uwuWI1Ob
Elsewhere, Zdeno Chara is about to hit a big milestone, and the league is excited.
"You're a role model for all of us in the league...you're the one carving the path."— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) November 5, 2019
As Zdeno Chara gets set for his 1,500th NHL game, fellow captains from around the league offer up congratulations.#Zee1500 | #NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/zInOWe8lTC
“It seems so casual, that it’s not a big deal; like having a beer almost.... Where does it stop?” Katie Strang has a sobering report on the rise of festival-drug use in the NHL.
The ‘secret everybody knows’: Drugs like cocaine and molly becoming more popular in NHL https://t.co/kdo5lWufjf— Katie Strang (@KatieJStrang) November 5, 2019
In light of Strang’s article, this player survey has interesting overtones.
Going on @OTLonESPN to discuss NHL Player Confidential— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) November 5, 2019
"I've never logged on Twitter in my life"
"If it's not performance enhancing and it doesn't give you an edge, then whatever"
"I feel bad for other teams mascots. It's like everyone forgot about them"https://t.co/oRa3ythvf3
Sad news: Author Chrys Goyens, renowned for his work centering on the Montreal Canadiens and their icons like Jean Béliveau and Rocket Richard, has died.
Very sad news. Chrys Goyens was a fine editor, writer and author. His hockey books are wonderful additions to any fan's library; Chrys wrote or co-wrote Jean Béliveau's autobiography; Lions In Winter, a superb Canadiens history; the Montreal Forum souvenir album; and many more https://t.co/jxKKpEbkxo pic.twitter.com/zAVTIdHo7N— Dave Stubbs (@Dave_Stubbs) November 5, 2019
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park (And Beautiful Boise)
As Derek noted yesterday, the Texas Stars are enduring the growing pains of a young and inexperienced squad. Where are the most urgent improvements needed?
But there’s happier news from the ECHL as Idaho Steelheads netminder Tomas Sholl rakes in another big honor.
NEWS: Goaltender Tomas Sholl has been named @WarriorHockey @ECHL Goaltender of the Month for October, marking his second career monthly honor.— Idaho Steelheads (@Steelheads) November 4, 2019
DETAILS: https://t.co/yS61cqt0cI | #FeelTheSteel pic.twitter.com/7jIy1DdnMG
Anyone want to tell them...? Enjoy.