At this time last week, the Dallas Stars had zero regulation victories. Now they’ve earned two in a row with a return to the kind of high-event hockey that once made them look like the future of the NHL.
Can they keep it going against the Minnesota Wild, or will they retreat into the illusory safety of playing for a 1-0 win? Whatever the case, tonight’s game will probably illustrate how far they’ve come, writes The Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks:
After beating the Flyers on Saturday night following a players-only meeting on Wednesday, the Stars needed to build on their momentum. A loss on Tuesday to the rebuilding Red Wings would have stunted that heading to first-place Minnesota on Thursday night. Instead, a win gives Dallas confidence that a turnaround could be around the corner.
“We just want to get this thing rolling,” [Jason] Robertson said. “We showed against Philadelphia that we could kind of take the game over. Alternatively, we showed today that we could get a lead. Even though they push back, we can hold onto it and continue to get the win. Two different types of wins, and it’s good to learn how to do both.”
The road to redemption won’t be built in a day:
With the poor play by the Stars through the season’s first month, it’s tough to remember that there are still 68 games remaining in the NHL season. Dallas entered Tuesday night six points back of a playoff spot in the Western Conference, which pales in comparison to the 15-point deficit it faced last year during the shortened 56-game season in the spring.
Baby steps will help close the gap for the Stars, and Tuesday was one of them.
Matt has more. [SportsDayDFW]
Already missing that home-game atmosphere? Cheer up – Stars watch parties are back.
Ryan Suter brings the “this isn’t a [game]...it’s a showdown” vibes.
"We gave our careers to Minnesota, and then for it to end like it did, it was pretty sad."— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) November 17, 2021
"I’d rather it just be a normal game...But I’m sure it will be more than that."
After 9 years with the Wild, Ryan Suter returns to Minnesota with the Stars https://t.co/oaP6CGEV5I
Around The Leagues
- Nazem Kadri got a goal and two assists as the Colorado Avalanche racked up a 4-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. [Mile High Hockey]
- And the Chicago Blackhawks won their fourth consecutive game under interim head coach Derek King – this one a 4-2 victory over the Seattle Kraken. [Second City Hockey]
The much-hyped Avs are in that small club of Central teams fighting to right the ship after a slow start. Here are a few esoteric pieces of information to have at your fingertips.
Nazem Kadri: 11 points in his last five games— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) November 18, 2021
Darcy Kuemper: .930 save percentage in his last seven games (5-2 record)
Valeri Nichushkin: Undefeated in games he's played this season
The prospective roster of the Canadian Olympic men’s hockey team is a smoking landscape of hot takes. Hockey Night in Canada’s David Amber offers this one.
Olympic F's— David Amber (@DavidAmber) November 15, 2021
In the mix:
China’s team is mostly Canadian, too – but it still may not be competitive enough for Olympic play. The International Ice Hockey Federation is tasked with finding out.
Greetings From Beautiful Boise
The Idaho Steelheads went from 0 to 60 in practically no time at all last month. Here’s how their journey to the top of the Mountain Division began.
The Steelheads return home for the first time since closing out October, a month packed with hockey after a long time away.— Idaho Steelheads (@Steelheads) November 17, 2021
In his debut feature, Sheamus Doyle recaps an exciting month at @IdCentralArena before the team hits home ice again. #FeelTheSteelhttps://t.co/zliUvv5CCw
Yesterday was Roope Hintz’s birthday, and the whole team wanted to get in on it. Enjoy.