Brought to you by: Big Shucks
All-Star weekends do not always have to be exciting and wildly entertaining. Sometimes it can simply be a time to refresh and reboot. Such is the case for the Dallas Stars.
The NHL All-Star Weekend came and went without much of an interest drawn from Stars fans. Featured events included the skills competition and the 3-on-3 tournament-style.
John Klingberg and Tyler Seguin represented the Dallas Stars and, other than a humorous take on the Puck Control Relay by Seguin, left little impact on the festivities. Instead, the All-Star break purposed for some time off to regroup from a disappointing loss at home and get ready for a potential playoff race for the ages.
At 60 points, the Stars currently have the first Wild Card spot, but they hardly have any room to spare. Four teams, including the Colorado Avalanche, who are the current place holders for the last Wild Card spot, are tied at 57 points. San Jose and Calgary narrowly hold positions two and three in the Pacific Division, respectively. Dropping a game could swap them into the Wild Card hunt.
Yet, good news does come in twofold for the Stars.
The Central Division is still within reach. Leaders Winnipeg only have six more points while Nashville and St. Louis also follow closely.
Despite the recent loss, the Stars are trending upwards. Scoring is coming from multiple lines and goaltenders/defense are giving up fewer goals. Meanwhile, that first line of Benn, Seguin and Radulov are one of the best (if not the best) triplets in the league.
The remainder of the season is flooded with Western opponent matchups. It starts immediately after the break when the Stars host one of those teams close behind in the Los Angeles Kings.
Dallas hosted two games in the week leading up to All-Star Weekend. Each could not have been more backwards than the other.
The Florida Panthers came into town on Tuesday in a game the Stars had complete control. Two power-play goals were scored on the night. The first was scored by Devin Shore on a deflected shot by John Klingberg. Alexander Radulov scored the second power-play goal that gave the Stars a three goal lead midway through the second period. Panthers’ Aaron Ekblad got one back before the third period, but that would be the last Panther goal of the night. Mattias Janmark and Tyler Pitlick added to the lead while Ben Bishop stopped 33 shots, Stars 6-1.
Thursday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs was another story. Three goals were unprecedentedly scored three odd-man-rushes. Carelessness with the puck resulted in turnovers that immediately produced goals for the Maple Leafs. Seguin scored late in the second period but it was not enough to correct the error in the 4-1 loss.
Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
1/30 vs Kings 7:30 p.m.
2/1 @ Coyotes 8:00 p.m.
2/3 vs Wild 7:30 p.m.