Unless you’re in the playoffs, it’s really weird to see a team play each other four straight games in the same season. That’s what we’re about to see, though, as the Dallas Stars and Detroit Red Wings square off starting tonight.
After a back-to-back at home tonight and tomorrow, the Stars will visit the Motor City for two contests later this week. This series couldn’t come at a better time for the Stars, either. Or, at least, it appears that way on paper. With Dallas coming off two very impressive wins over the Columbus Blue Jackets, it would appear four games against the last place team in the division would be just what the doctor ordered.
As I said above, though, this looks good on paper. If we’ve learned anything this season it should be this: you cannot trust what should or should not be based off records, etc. When it appears something is going to be one way, it usually turns out to be the opposite this season.
All that being said, this has the potential of being a great week for the Stars. There are eight points available against the last place team in the division. Currently, the Stars are one point behind the Chicago Blackhawks for fifth place and three points behind the Nashville Predators for fourth place, but ahead of both teams in points percentage. Dallas has games in hands against both of those teams as well — three over Nashville and two over Chicago.
Potential Line Combinations for Dallas
Jason Robertson (21) - Roope Hintz (24) - Joe Pavelski (16)
Jason Dickinson (18) - Jamie Benn (14) - Denis Gurianov (34)
Andrew Cogliano (11) - Radek Faksa (12) - Blake Comeau (15)
Rhett Gardner (49) - Tanner Kero (64) - Nicholas Caamano (17)
Esa Lindell (23) - John Klingberg (3)
Jamie Oleksiak (2) - Miro Heiskanen (4)
Andrej Sekera (5) - Sami Vatanen (45)
Anton Khudobin (35)
Jake Oettinger (29)
The Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings may be in last place in the Central Division but that doesn’t mean they should be overlooked. The Red Wings only have one less win the Stars on the season. The Stars have won 17 games with the Red Wings sitting at 16. The difference is Dallas has been to overtime six more times than Detroit.
Detroit is only scoring 2.23 goals per game, with a majority of it seemingly being generated by the top line. Jakub Vrana, Dylan Larkin and Filip Zadina have accounted for almost a quarter of the goals scored for the Red Wings. Dallas will need to contain this top line during the next four games.
Potential Line Combinations for Detroit
Jakub Vrana (15) - Dylan Larkin (71) - Filip Zadina (11)
Richard Panik (24) - Michael Rasmussen (27) - Valtteri Filppula (51)
Frans Nielsen (81) - Vladislav Namestnikov (92) - Sam Gagner (89)
Darren Helm (43) - Luke Gendening (41) - Adam Erne (73)
Dennis Cholowski (21) - Filip Hronek (17)
Marc Staal (18) - Troy Stecher (70)
Danny DeKeyser (65) - Gustav Lindstrom (28)
Jonathan Bernier (45)
Thomas Greiss (29)