By Martin Iheke
After five days off, though it felt like two months, the Stars returned to the ice to play at the Winnipeg Jets last Friday night and boy… they looked like a fresh and energetic group ready to rumble. The Stars quickly jumped on a Jets team that looked like they played the night before when again, who else but Alex Chiasson scored to put the Stars up, 1-0. It was Chiasson’s third goal of the season and he has now scored at least a goal in eight of his first nine games of his young NHL career. One of the players that assisted in Chiasson’s goal was newly-acquired center, Tyler Seguin. After two unimpressive games to start the season, Seguin showed up in a big way with a four-point performance scoring two goals and two assists as the Stars whipped up on their renewed division rivals, 4-1, improving their record to 2-1-0.
He was not the only one that was impressive as his linemate and team captain, Jamie Benn, stepped up as well. He had a three-point performance with a goal and two assists. “I think we get better every day,” Seguin said according to the dallasnews.com. “We’re becoming good friends off the ice and I think that’s only going to translate good things on the ice,” as he continued. The Stars hope that becomes the case because these two are the future of the franchise. If their performances against the Jets are a preview of what is to come, then it will be nothing but good times for the Stars. Unfortunately, there was one big downer in the game for the Stars as goaltender Kari Lehtonen had to leave during the second period due to a lower-body injury. Right now, he is listed as day-to-day but it does not appear to be serious. Backup veteran goaltender Dan Ellis came in and was impressive in relief.
However, Ellis and the Stars could not repeat their performance the next night at the Minnesota Wild as they got hammered, 5-1. It did not take long for the rested Wild to jump on a weary Stars team as they capitalized on a turnover committed by defensemen Brenden Dillon in their own zone which led to rookie Justin Fontaine putting one past Ellis twelve seconds in to put the Wild up, 1-0. The Stars never recovered after that as they were behind all night long chasing the Wild. “They’re doing a nice job on the other end of the rink,” Stars head coach Lindy Ruff said according to the dallasnews.com. “They’ve got a lot of good puck possession and they’re winning the battle of the possession clock in their own end,” as he continued. The Wild do such a good job of taking the middle of the ice away and putting a lot of pressure on any opposing player with the puck which leads to a lot of turnovers. Because of this, the Wild are allowing a league-low 22 shots per game according to dallasnews.com and they are even tougher to play against when you give them a lead especially very early in the game. This is something the Stars need to work on because now that the Wild are division rivals, they will be seeing this style of play more often whether they are playing on the second night of a back-to-back or not.
10/15 @Avalanche 8:00 PM
10/17 vs Sharks 7:30 PM
10/19 @Kings 9:30 PM
10/20 @Ducks 7:00 PM