By Martin Iheke
After getting blown out by the Chicago Blackhawks at home a week and a half ago, the Dallas Stars appear to have woken up winning three of their last four games. The team used that game as a wake-up call to get their act together and make a push for the playoffs. After beating the Calgary Flames at home, 4-3, the Stars went on the road to play the Colorado Avalanche last Wednesday night. The Stars lost, 4-3, despite having two different leads in the game and once again you were left wondering if this team would ever get their act together if they cannot even beat the worst team in the Western Conference. Luckily, the Stars were able to put that game behind them because the next night they played at the Los Angeles Kings and shut them out, 2-0. Thanks to a stellar performance from goaltender, Kari Lehtonen who stopped all 40 shots, the Stars were able to get back on track.
The team returned home last Saturday to begin a very important five-game home stand that could make or break the season. They got their revenge on the Avalanche by cruising past them, 5-2, thanks to terrific work from Eric Nystrom, Derek Roy and Jamie Benn. Head Coach Glen Gulutzan talked about Benn being more “direct” when describing his play. “Direct and with a purpose leading the way in that regard,” he said. “That is something that I have talked to him about and he has done that repeatedly over the last couple of weeks I would say,” as he continued. Benn finished with three assists and was a beast all over the ice. He has not scored a goal in a while, but in that game he came close a few times. If the Stars can get this performance from Benn more consistently, they will be tough team to handle. He will more than likely be the next captain as soon as next season because Brenden Morrow will not be back.
In fact, he will no longer play for the Stars for the rest of the season because this past Sunday he agreed to waive his no-trade clause in his contract to be traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins along with a third round draft pick for defensemen prospect Joe Morrow (no relation) and a fifth round draft pick. Brenden Morrow played 835 games with 243 goals in his entire 14-year career for the Stars according to sports.yahoo.com. He became captain in 2006 and was an instrumental part in their run to the Western Conference Finals back in 2008, the last time the Stars made the playoffs. Since Morrow was going to become an unrestricted free agent after the season and the Stars were not going to resign him, it was best to go ahead and get something for him before the trade deadline expires next Wednesday.
Joe Morrow is an interesting prospect who is touted as a two-way defensemen that can run the power play, has a big shot, can be physical and play solid positional defense. He turned 20 back in December and has good size at 6-1 weighting 206 pounds. This is all according to dallasnews.com. He will more than likely spend the rest of the season down in Austin to help out the Texas Stars, the minor league affiliate for the Stars. It will remain to be seen whether this trade will turn out to be a good one for the Stars, but for now we can reminisce to what Brenden Morrow has brought to this franchise. The Stars will not play again until Friday when they take on the Minnesota Wild again then they play the Kings on Sunday before finishing up the home stand against the Anaheim Ducks on Monday.