Dallas Stars looking forward to a home-heavy December

Stars look to turn things around in December after a challenging, to say the least, November. Photo Courtesy: Dominic Ceraldi
Stars look to turn things around in December after a challenging, to say the least, November.
Photo Courtesy: Dominic Ceraldi
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By Stephen Elliott

If you are a Dallas Stars’ fan, I get it… you are panicking right now.

Your favorite hockey team blossomed into a top team in the league last year. Young talented surrounded the veteran core that is led by a Stanley Cup head coach. Your impactful general manger is in his fourth year and things would make sense if this team was a thorn in the Western Conference.

But unfortunately your Stars are 10-10-6 with 26 points, sitting in the bottom fourth of the conference.

Whether it is injuries, suspect defense, the inability to score, or anywhere in between, the Stars are just a game past a quarter through the season and find themselves second to last in the Central Division.

So how do they turn things around? Tyler Seguin simplified things after a 6-2 loss in Pittsburgh.

“It comes to executing in the big moments,” Seguin said. “It’s about the best players being the best players.”

Luckily for Seguin and company it does feel that simple. Getting it accomplished is the tricky part. At times the Stars look promising. For much of the Detroit and Pittsburgh games, the Stars were holding possession and pounding 56 shots combined. But they only came away with three goals for both games and two losses.

A big chunk of the team’s success last season was their ability to score. They were among the top teams in the league, scoring over three goals a game. So far this season, that number has fallen to 2.5 goals per goal, tied for 16th in the league. Meanwhile, their 3.27 goals against average puts them dead last in the entire league.

Staying positive, the Stars hope for the better with the change of the calendar. November was difficult month as the Stars had 16 games going 5-6-5. December offers around the same amount of games (14) but with a heavier load of home games. Lindy Ruff talked about getting back at home and moving on from a difficult November.

“We’ll start with one game at a time,” Ruff said Tuesday. “But it is an opportunity after going through a pretty tough November where [there was] a lot of travel and a lot of games in a few days. We’ve gotten an opportunity to get practices in and play some games at home here and hopefully get on a role.”

It’s still early in the season and it’s not time to hold down the panic button. This Stars team is worrisome, but they still have the players and personnel to turn things around.

Injuries and call-up
Patrick Sharp and Johnny Oduya are nursing injuries. Oduya has a lower-body injury that has the defenseman on injured reserved. He skated this week and should return soon.

Sharp was placed on injured reserved and is in concussion protocol. Sharp was on IR for the similar injury early this season. In his absence, the Stars called up Jason Dickinson from AHL Texas Stars. The 21-year-old forward was a first round pick for the Stars in 2013.

Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
12/6   vs Flames        7:30 p.m.
12/8   vs Predators    7:30 p.m.
12/10 @ Flyers          12:00 p.m.
12/11  @ Blackhawks  6:00 p.m.