This Week in Dallas Stars Hockey: Pacific Family Reunion

This week in Stars' hockey, Dallas hosts 3 former division rivals. Bad blood shouldn't be a problem against the Ducks, Canucks, and Sharks.

Saturday night the Dallas Stars got drilled by the Florida Panthers snapping a five game winning streak. While the loss was a splash of cold water, it is important to remember that the Stars had a five game winning streak to break in the first place.

Alas, the show rolls on.

This week features 3 games against old Pacific Division rivals. The Anaheim Ducks, Vancouver Canucks, and the San Jose Sharks will all visit the American Airlines Center.

Tuesday 10/27/15 - Anaheim Ducks @ Dallas Stars

The consensus favorite to win the Pacific Division finds itself in dead last place with an abysmal record of 1-5-1. Having only played 7 games, it is difficult to get a feel for whether this is a short term struggle or a long term issue.

The Ducks have given up 20 goals this year and only scored six themselves. They are 1 for 19 (5.26 percent) on the power play, and the team has a combined shooting percentage of 3.1 percent. Despite getting slightly above average goaltending (.917 save percentage), the Ducks just can't win hockey games.

These issues point to a team running into some rotten luck rather than a group on the edge of collapse. That being said, the team is sporting a Corsi of ~47 percent, so what do I know?

This is still a loaded team that could break out at any time.

Games against Anaheim are typically chippy affairs, and the desperate Ducks will be starving for a victory. The Stars will need to get off to a fast start to frustrate Anaheim and step on their throat if Dallas gets out to an early advantage. The crowd will be ready to rumble on Tuesday night, and keeping their spirits high will bode well for the Stars.

Player to Watch: Corey Perry No. 10. A traditional thorn in the Stars' side, Perry never fails to bring it against the Stars. You will definitely swear at him 8 times on Tuesday. He is the player that Stars fans love to hate.

Thursday 10/29/15 - Vancouver Canucks @ Dallas Stars

Don't look now, but Vancouver appears to have fielded another fringe playoff team. The 3-2-3 Canucks sit in 3rd place in the Pacific Division. It's early, but everything that is going wrong in Anaheim is going right Vancouver.

Alex Burrows and Brandon Sutter lead the team with six points apiece. The Sedin twins are off to a good start combining for 9 points through 8 games.

Ryan Miller has been steady in net, sporting a 2.09 GAA and .926 save percentage. Miller has started all eight games so far and has been a great backstop for a methodical team.

The Canucks know who they are. They aren't particularly fast, but they are a good faceoff team and very skilled with the dangerous duo of Daniel and Henrik Sedin. There is a grit to the team this year, but maybe that just shows up against the Calgary Flames.

If the Stars sit back and invite pressure, Vancouver will be more than willing to oblige. This is a team that can play a grinding game as well as a transition game. it will be important for the Stars to dictate the terms of engagement and pinning the Canucks in their own end will neutralize the skill of their opponents' elder statesmen. It will be interesting to see who Lindy Ruff sends out against the Sedins. This should be a fun game to watch.

Player to Watch: Bo Horvat No. 53. The 20-year-old sophomore is the future of the organization. Watch with intrigue.

Saturday 10/31/15 - San Jose Sharks @ Dallas Stars

The San Jose Sharks lead the Pacific Division after an offseason full of questions. They fired their coach after missing the playoffs last season, but the team appears to be responding to the adversity.

Under new coach Peter DeBoar, the Sharks are off to fine start at 5-3-0.

Despite below average special teams, the Sharks have a plus-5 goal differential and a PDO of 101.2. Joel Ward, former Washington Capital, leads the team with eight points (5G 3A).

The highlight of the offseason was pulling one over on the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings traded Martin Jones to the Boston Bruins in a trade designed to (1) get Milan Lucic, and (2) to trade Jones out of the conference. Jones is a well-regarded player and a talented goaltender but with Jonathan Quick in the crease long term for LA, it made sense to get something for the promising young goalie.

Unbeknownst to the Kings, the Bruins decided to flip Jones for a 2016 first round pick. Jones was not only back in the conference, but in the same division as the Kings. Jones has been a rock behind the Sharks with an eye-popping save percentage of .940. Not a misprint.

The Sharks look dangerous, but what has to concern the league is their pedestrian special teams. Traditionally, San Jose has been dominant on the power play with serviceable penalty killing. If the Sharks regress toward their above average power play, this could be a dominant team.

The Stars will need to be sharp on Halloween. They will have to capitalize on their looks at the net, and keep Joe Pavelski contained between the circles. The Sharks look like the truth. This will be a great test for Dallas.

Player to Watch: Brent Burns No. 88. The smooth-skating caveman is one of the best offensive defensemen in the league. If you asked a random person what a hockey player should look like, there is a 9 out of 10 chance they would pick out Burns' picture.


The problem with the Stars teams of the last several years is they always seemed to follow up a winning streak with a losing streak. The Stars need to get back up on their horse quickly, because a bad week against these teams could lead to a 0-3-0 record.

The Stars responded well to their last humiliating defeat. How will they respond this week?