It’s safe to say the Stars want to move on after the Blackhawks game. When asked if there was anything positive to take away from the 5-1 loss on Saturday, Stars’ head coach Lindy Ruff simply said, “No”. The loss ended their three game win streak.
And the competition doesn’t ease up.
The Dallas Stars ended the month of January with a win against the Calgary Flames and an All-Star break where they had Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn represent the team in the festivities.
Now the Stars hit one of the hardest slate of games in their upcoming schedule. Their next five games are against teams in playoff condition, including another game against the Chicago Blackhawks, in Chicago.
Capitals, Preds, Wild, Blues and Blackhawks…
The Stars sit in the number two spot in the conference at 71 points (33-15-5) just ahead of St. Louis and five points clear of Chicago comfortably in the number one position. These are accompanied by road games against the Predators and Wild. Their lone non-conference game is against the Washington Capitals (has NHL’s most points). With the exception of the Wild, each opponent is situated in a playoff berth.
Must wins? It’s still too early in the season. However, the importance lies in performance. The Stars want to build their confidence back up. Remember how the Stars looked in the 4-0 win against Chicago in December?
Captain Jamie Benn expressed his feeling of embarrassment after the home loss against the Blackhawks. The Stars don’t want to feel like that again.
The Stars have one of the best offenses in the league. They are the only team with players that have 25 or more goals (Benn and Seguin). Despite his defensive struggles, John Klingberg is top three in defenseman points. However the teams recent most reliable player, Jason Spezza, was injured in the physical game against the Colorado Avalanche. Like most hockey injuries, the timetable is not set on his upper-body injury but he was put on injured reserve. Stars called up Radek Faksa from the AHL (Texas Stars).
Spezza’s importance gets over looked by the three others mentioned above. His injury hinders a power-play that already has not been producing. Spezza’s presence gives the Stars two top lines with the scoring to match opposing teams.
Now, with some tough goaltenders ahead of them, the Stars hope they will still have the offense to keep their name mentioned with the top teams in the league.
Upcoming Weekly Schedule – All Times Central
2/9 at Minnesota 7:00 pm
2/11 at Chicago 7:30 pm
2/13 vs Washington 7:00 pm