By Will Martin
Not even 28 hours prior was I in Frisco watching a skate around for a very tired Dallas Stars team after arriving home from New York at the ungodly hour of 3:30 am. Skate time was moved from 11am to 1pm.
Even so, there was a healthy group of hockey fans at the Dr. Pepper Stars Center to watch the kids of Team Ruff proceed to work on drills and knock out some kinks.
Before what I witnessed late this evening it seemed like I was watching the same train wreck reenact itself in the craziest of manners.
Any old timers remember the old episodes of ‘The Addams Family’ when Gomez would be hell bent on getting to his train set and having them all collide and blow up to the look of a smiling John Austin?
That’s what this week has felt like watching the Dallas Stars. Incredible, unbelievable, and improbable!
I was okay with the effort on Thursday in New Jersey-the first of a back to back with the Devils-followed by a visit to Madison Square Garden and the Rangers. Although the Stars lost 1-0 to New Jersey behind a 26 save night for Cory Schneider and ex-Dallas Star Michael Ryder scoring the only goal of the game.
Friday night you had what appeared to be a point in hand with overtime awaiting before Stars-killer Rick Nash fired a game winner on Kari Lehtonen (31 saves in defeat) in a 3-2 loss. Brad Richards would also light the lamp with a goal. The ex-Stars factor continued to work against Dallas.
2014 Dallas still trying to get their first win. This day was a bad case of Deja-Vu as another 2-0 lead was lost. Ray Whitney got the scoring started early in the first while Sergei Gonchar would get his first Texas score in 2013-2014 unassisted. Stars 2-0 after 1.
Just like last Monday night. We couldn’t lose this lead could we? End of streak? First win of 2014?
In what can only be described as a complete meltdown the Dallas Stars again fell victim to the crafty work of John Tavares and Kyle Okposo as Kyle rang up two goals on the Stars before an empty netter and a wrister by Tavares and Brock Nelson erased a 2-0 lead into a 4-2 loss.
With the win the Islanders got to seven straight road victories for the first time since 1981. The year MTV was born. Ouch.
The locker room was a somber angry one postgame. Ray Whitney however summed up the essence of what a team does when he struggles are happening to a team collectively. Dan Ellis spoke of ‘a slumpbuster, a win, a complete game victory!’ Yes I’ll quote Dan Ellis when saying he was pissed at the outcome this night.
Playing the Eastern Conference has been a burden to the Stars in 2014 for the moment. They’ll catch a break on Tuesday when the Oilers make a return visit to Dallas. The Bruins do the same on the 16th.
Not since March of 2009 have the Dallas Stars lost seven home wins in a row. Let’s hope we can begin to see a return to what was potential greatness as 2013 wound down.
It begins with the return and the moxie of Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Only 1 goal in five games is not the way you win. With a young team comes growing pains. One habit that needs to stop is leading a game for 50 minutes or so and then imploding and letting it get away.