Dallas Stars fans may not have thought the team’s road woes would evaporate like the morning dew as soon as they were back in their home barn. But it’s still difficult to take that the first half of a home-and-away with the St. Louis Blues turned out as badly as it did.
The Stars need wins if they want to get back into playoffs contention, but above all they need wins against their Central Division competitors. Where, and how, can they get traction for the long climb ahead?
The Athletic’s Saad Yousuf starts his latest article by reminding us that even a bad time may not be bad 100 percent of the time. Riley Damiani’s first NHL goal was a beauty – and there are signs of more where that came from:
Young players are usually the most energetic so Damiani isn’t necessarily unique in that way but what was impressive was how consistently he was able to do it. The goal he scored in the second period, his first NHL tally, is a good example of that, not for the end result but more for how he got there. Damiani didn’t just make a good play; he had a good shift....
Damiani isn’t new to scoring. He was the AHL’s Rookie of the Year last season and leads the Texas Stars in goals and assists this season. But doing things at the highest level in the NHL is an incomparable feeling.
The issue is growing more urgent as the Stars’ most implacable foes show signs of stronger recoveries from their own bad starts:
To put into context just how far the fall has been and what’s at stake when the Stars take the ice again on Friday in St. Louis: The Stars have not gone five consecutive games without earning a single point since Lindy Ruff’s first season as Stars head coach. Through all of the misery of last season, through the 1-7-1 start the season before and everything else, the Stars have at least managed to find a loser point somewhere along the way, even when the losses were racking up.
If the Stars suffer a regulation loss on Friday in St. Louis, a team that just beat them 4-1 on their home ice, it will be the first time since the 2013-14 season a points drought has extended this long.
There’s more behind the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]
Say you want to be a coach without saying you want to be a coach.
Around The Leagues
Yet Alex Ovechkin kept racing toward his appointment with history.
Alex Ovechkin tied the NHL record for power-play goals, scoring for the Capitals in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Blackhawks.— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) December 16, 2021
He matched Dave Andreychuk with No. 274.https://t.co/0jty7eq8W0
The COVID-19 pandemic refuses to go away by itself. The Calgary Flames have postponed another game as 16 players and head coach Daryl Sutter test positive.
The Flames have had four games postponed this week — including two upcoming home dates against the Maple Leafs on Thursday and Blue Jackets on Saturday — due to the outbreakhttps://t.co/U73EyyggyF— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) December 16, 2021
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park – And Beautiful Boise
At least Texas Stars fans get to watch Anton Khudobin now.
Colton Point has reported to the Idaho Steelheads and made 21 saves in his season debut.
Meanwhile, another promising defender is out of the fold...but there’s a possibility that another could step up.
Big opportunity here for a player like Dawson Barteaux to solidify his spot in the lineup with this opening.— 100 Degree Hockey (@100degreehockey) December 16, 2021
I thought I wasn’t going to cry, but something about seeing Ben’s Bishops there...well. Enjoy.