By Martin Iheke
Your Dallas Stars finished the three-game home stand with a 1-0-2 record, this past week, but not good enough to move full speed ahead in the standings. This was an important home stand for the Stars to do a better job of protecting their ice. They played well in all three games, but it did not translate into victories in all three. We will start with the lone win last Tuesday night against the Anaheim Ducks where the Stars found themselves down, 2-1, going into the third period before they erupted for five goals in a 6-3 victory. Most of the scoring came from their fourth line by forwards Antoine Roussel and Ryan Garbutt. Roussel scored two goals while Garbutt had a goal and two assists. The Stars need depth scoring so they do not have to rely heavily on captain Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin to carry the load.
After the game, defensemen Stephane Robidas talked about the big third period and the win. “It wasn’t are best game, but we came out strong in the third. Ellis kept us in the game making some big saves at key times,” Robidas said. “They kind of got a little lucky goal at the end of the second, but we came back strong and that’s the positive. We found a way to win even though we didn’t play a full 60 minutes,” as he continued. Unfortunately for Robidas, he would suffer a serious injury in the next game against the Chicago Blackhawks as the Stars would lose, 2-1, in the shootout. He left the game with a leg fracture and will have to have surgery. He is expected to miss 4-6 months so that pretty much ends his season. Head coach Lindy Ruff commented about Robidas after the game. “He’s been playing real well and has been a big pair for us,” Ruff said. “That was probably the only negative (in the game) because Robidas is a battler. He’s really played hard and well this year for us,” as he continued. As for the game…. the Stars did not play bad at all in fact, they outplayed the defending Stanley Cup champions for most of it but could not capitalize on some of the golden opportunities they were given. You have to if you want to beat a team like the Blackhawks.
With Robidas out, the Stars called up 6-7 defensemen Jamie Oleksiak from their farm team in Cedar Park, Texas to take his place. He was paired with defensemen Brenden Dillon on Sunday against the Edmonton Oilers as the Stars looked to bounce back from their loss last Friday against the Blackhawks. He played well in his time on the ice. He had two blocks, three hits and was even for the game. Unfortunately again, the Stars could not take advantage of the lowly Oilers as they would lose, 3-2, in the shootout. The story of this game was their anemic power play. They went 0 for 4 on the job and are now 1 for 37 at home this season. That is flat out awful and part of the reason why the Stars record at home is 4-3-4. After the game, forward Shawn Horcoff gave his thoughts on it and what they need to do to improve on the man advantage. “It’s just frustration now more than anything and I think guys are squeezing the sticks tight,” Horcoff said. “It’s tough when the longer it goes without a little bit of success you start thinking about it too much. Right now, we have to get back and keep it simple. Let’s get pucks to the net, get bodies there and try to get a dirty one in some way,” as he continued.
The Stars will try to jump start their power play and get back to winning when they head back out on the road on Tuesday night to take on the Chicago Blackhawks. After that, they will travel to play at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night before coming home to face the Philadelphia Flyers in a Saturday afternoon tilt.
12/3 @Blackhawks 7:00 PM
12/5 @Maple Leafs 6:00 PM
12/7 vs Flyers 1:00 PM