Dallas Stars Daily Links: Giving Thanks for the Little Things

Things could always get worse, so let's check out a couple of the teams embodying this phrase. Then we'll stop in for some Joe Thornton mulling, some Jets head shaking, and a thoughtful pause after hearing that Hasek's number will be retired in Buffalo.

On Monday, October 13th, Canada celebrated Thanksgiving Day. It is as great as regular Thanksgiving, if reports are to be believed. Food is eaten, kind of, and even though it's on a Monday, people still seem to generally enjoy it somewhat.

But that was over a week ago, and things have changed quickly. Would we have been happy to know then that Dallas would now be sitting in 3rd place with 6 points in 5 games? We probably wouldn't have minded much at that point, to be honest. Hopefully we would have found some things to be future-thankful for even if that didn't meet our expectations of the team.

Lots of NHL teams haven't really gotten into the whole thankfulness act lately, though, and you can't totally blame them. In fact, here's a brief list of things that some other teams have to complain about:

St. Louis sits one point behind--behind--Dallas, and they just found out that their brand-spanking-new FA acquisition Paul Stastny will be missing some time (at least a week, maybe more) with an injury to his left shoulder. [per Sports Illustrated]

Colorado may be able to get their #2 goalie back soon, as their #1 goalie is still about four days away. Their number two goalie, who is named Reto Berra or something like that, is a piece of good news for them. This may be the high point of Colorado's season, if that tells you anything. Imagine if Dallas had already lost two goalies for a couple of games already. No, do not imagine that after all. Stop.

Tampa Bay just found out that Victor Hedman will be out for six weeks or possibly more after wrist surgery, seriously dampening the enthusiasm that had just begun to build over there. Also, Ryan Callahan is hurt now, and they just lost to the Oilers, yes, the real ones. Tampa has 7 points in 6 games, which is a notch below "rip roaring" on my dial o' notches.

Boston has a mere 6 points in 7 games, and they just signed Simon Gagne on purpose.

The Kings are setting the pace for the Pacific Division, but Slava Voynov just got suspended indefinitely, and people are starting to suspect that Quick really is just an okay goaltender in large sample sizes.

Minnesota has been solid, but their power play has been non-existent so far.

Tons of teams that did well last year and/or were slated to excel this year have encountered injuries or had players underperform thus far. Those teams will have to keep playing and hope things work out, employing whatever their next-best plan is for the eventualities they're already facing early in the year.

Dallas, sure, we knew they probably weren't a President's Trophy team, what with playing in the Central Division for so much of the season, but if things broke right, it was easy to see them doing really well this year. So far, things haven't broken right, and they're doing just "okay." Not horribly, not disastrously, just "okay." The injury to Nemeth surely won't help that, but these are things that do happen. We'll see if another defenseman can step up in the mean time. Maybe one whose name rhymes with O'Splecksbeeyact or something, I don't know. Remember, Nemeth only showed up last year because of an injury on the blue line in the first place, and suddenly it seems like we started taking him for granted already. That's crazy when you think about it.

The injury to Nichushkin is badly-timed, but it's given the Stars a chance to audition some players and see tons of different (and yes, weird and absurd) line combinations. Val will be back soon or soonish, and the team he rejoins will be ready for him. If we haven't yet seen a healthy #43 this year, then I am going to write off those first couple of games for the Russian. He's an amazing player, and I will hope for amazing things from him when he returns to us in better shape than we found him in against Chicago, etc. so far this year. Dallas may not love these setbacks or anything, but they're going to have to deal with them, and we get to watch. If nothing else, I'm looking forward to Hemsky's finding his niche and continuing his career production. That is going to happen to some degree, I think. No point stressing out yet over his lack of point production.

This is what (usually) happens in the league. Some of a team's players get hurt or underperform, and you start to get dissatisfied that the ideal sequence of events hasn't happened. But life will kind of just be terrible if you continue to stare at Nemeth's empty locker for the rest of the week, so it's time to wish him well, cook him a casserole, and gear up for the next 75 games.

And maybe send a get well card to Sergei Gonchar while you're at it.

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Tuesday Links are included below with your regularly scheduled URLs.

Mark Stepneski previews the Canucks game as only he can, and did. [Stars]

Willie Desjardins is hungry, much like the wolf, and the only thing that will satisfy his achin' belly is winning. Unfortunately, that means beating the Stars. [Vancouver Sun]

In fact, if the "Dallas-Vancouver" relationship were on Facebook circa 2006, it would be using the "it's complicated" description. Mike Heika previews the Stars-Canucks lovefest tonight. [DMN]

Josh Bogorad has a good and detailed writeup on how the Stars are viewing and addressing their shortfalls so far. [Stars]

Mike Heika checked, and it turns out that the young defensemen are going to be important to the Stars this season. [DMN]

In the "I didn't have this game being that interesting" category, the Nashville reaction to their 2-1 OT loss to Chicago seems to be, "We should've had that." Nashville, you be illin'. [On the Forecheck]

Is Joe Thornton on track to get his face bronzed and nailed to a wall in a famous hall someday? You make the call! If you have a vote, that is. [The Hockey Writers]

TJ Brodie has re-signed with the Flames for what is reported to be 5 years, $23.25 million. [NHL.com]

Will the recently recalled Jonathan Drouin make some Calder noise this year? [SportsNet]

The Buffalo Sabres will retire the Dominator's #39. Don't worry, I'm sure they already checked with Connor McDavid to make sure he didn't like that number. [Pro Hockey Talk]

Connor McDavid has already altered his game, and it's paying dividends almost as literal as the millions of dollars he will be paid next summer. [SportsNet]

Power Rankings: THN edition. Stars are at #16, Ducks atop the list. [THN]

Finally, here is Tyler Seguin talking about how awesome he is without saying how awesome he is with NHL Live: