Blitz Weekly

Stars Begin Home Stand with Gut-wrenching Loss

Radek Faksa's name was added to the Stars injury list. The Stars center will be out at least two games. In the mean time, how will the Stars replace their best defensive forward? Photo Courtesy: Dominic Ceraldi

Radek Faksa’s name was added to the Stars injury list. The Stars center will be out at least two games. In the mean time, how will the Stars replace their best defensive forward?
Photo Courtesy: Dominic Ceraldi

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By Stephen Elliott

Not too much is going right for the Dallas Stars this season.

Injuries are happening on a weekly basis, special teams are the worst in the league and stringing wins together is a challenge.

The Stars have played 48 games and have a record of 19-20-9 with 47 points. They are just four points out of a wild card spot, but playoff aspirations seem farther than just two wins.

That is because wins are hard to come by with this team. The Stars have one win in their last five games. That one win was nearly taken away by the Rangers.

The Stars twice had a three-plus lead in New York. The second period began with an Antoine Roussel goal, giving the Stars a 4-1 lead. The lead was quickly reduced to one with two straight Rangers’ goals. But the Stars scored three-consecutive goals to take a 7-3 lead into the third period. The Stars did not score again, and the Rangers again got the game back to a one goal difference. After replacing goaltenders, the Stars held on 7-6.

That one win took a lot of work. Similar effort was exuded against Washington. The Capitals came into Dallas as one of the hottest teams in the NHL. They won five of their last six, averaging nearly six goals during that span. But the Stars gave the Capitals all they could handle. Dallas’ scored three-consecutive goals after Washington opened the scoring within the first three minutes of the game. The Stars were playing penalty free (even had a power-play goal of their own) and took a 3-1 lead into the third. The Stars then quickly took two penalties that turned into two goals for the Capitals. The game headed into overtime where the Capitals’ Jay Beagle took 19 seconds to hand the Stars their ninth overtime loss on the season. Tough way to start a six game home stand.

Notes from the week
The more this team plays, the more noticeable their inexperience becomes. The Stars are not losing game due to lack of effort. The loses to the Capitals and Wild are prime examples. The Stars out played the Capitals the entire game but a couple mental mistakes cost them a point. Dallas’ was down 4-0 against in their previous game against the Wild but battled back to tie 4-4. Then a turnover in their own zone lead to the game winning goal for the Wild.

Discipline is a sign of how experienced your team is and the Stars struggle to stay out of the PK box. Their 11.44 penalty minutes per game are third in the league while their penalty kill ranks 29th (.1 percent better than 30th Buffalo). This is a younger and less experienced team than last year. The average age at defensemen is 26 with only three players having at least six seasons under their belt.

Injuries continue
The injuries do not stop with this team. Just as the Stars get some guys back, more hit the shelf.

The Stars will be without Johnny Oduya and Radek Faksa for at least two games. Faksa left the Capitals game with a lower body injury. The Stars best defensive forward will be out at least two games. Oduya suffed an ankle injury and was placed on injured reserve. Oduya missed ten games this season with the same injury. The Stars called Julius Honka from Texas Stars (AHL).

Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
1/26   vs Sabres           7:30 p.m.
1/31   vs Maple Leafs   7:30 p.m.
2/2     vs Jets                7:30 p.m.

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