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3/25/15: Mostly unfairly, the Dallas Stars are being considered one of the lower tier teams in the NHL this season. That is likely due to their position at the basement of the Central Division, as well as likely missing the playoffs after getting in last season. But that overlooks a lot of factors. For one thing, the Stars are five games over .500, which is solid. Secondly, the Central Division is stacked, with three teams over 90 points with 10 games or more left to play. The reality is that the Stars are a good team with a bright future, they just play in one of the most competitive divisions in all of professional sports.
3/18/15: The Dallas Stars were starting to play a bit better when Tyler Seguin went down with a serious knee injury. He may be back before the regular season ends, but the Stars may decide not to push it with their best player and wait until next season. Overall, Dallas has been pretty good this season, but they are in the hyper-competitive Central Division and even being four games over .500 only gets last place. The Stars need to learn how to win at home, where they are only 13-14-8. Championship teams take care of home ice, and that is something the Stars have not been able to do this season.
3/11/15: It is not often that an NHL team, this late in the season, has a much better record on the road than at home. But that is where the Dallas Stars are these days. The Stars have a respectable 16-13-2 road record. Good, not great, but still solid. However, they are just .500 when playing in Big D. Not surprisingly, teams that cannot win at home are rarely in the playoff hunt and neither is Dallas. The good news is that the Stars are on a road trip for most of the week: at Carolina on Thursday and at Washington on Saturday, before returning home to host the St. Louis Blues on Sunday.
3/4/15: The Dallas Stars were expected to be sellers at the trade deadline this season. It took them a few more days to get active in the trade market, but they finally did so when they sent forward Erik Cole and a conditional third round draft pick to the Detroit Red Wings for prospects Mattias Backman and Mattas Janmark-Nylen and a second round draft pick. Cole's stats have been decent this season, he has 18 goals and 33 points in 57 games. He also is in the final year of his contract and will be an unrestricted free agent once the season ends. Dallas certainly needs defensive help, and while these guys won't help out immediately, they may prove to be good pieces down the road a bit.
2/25/15: The frustration is setting in among the Dallas Stars and their struggles this season. Defense has been an issue all year and there are no quick fixes for that right now. Offense has not been much of a problem as the Stars are one of the best goal-scoring teams in the NHL. Conversely, they are one of the worst at keeping the puck out of the net. Goaltender Kari Lehtonen let his emotions get the best of him when he threw his stick after Detroit scored the game-winning goal last Saturday night. That game was a microcosm of the season, as Dallas surrendered a two goal lead to lose 7-6 in overtime.
2/18/15: The Dallas Stars got the news last Thursday that left winger Anoine Roussel would be suspended by the NHL for two games for cross checking Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid in the throat. The NHL ruled that the cross check was not a defensive or reactionary measure, but a proactive attack. Looking at the replays, it is hard to argue with that logic, though many have stated they though the suspension should be longer. The Stars do not need to lose any players to suspension as they are trying to get their way back into the playoffs. The Stars still have a ways to go to into the postseason and time is running out on the season.
2/11/15: There can be a lot of reasons for the Dallas Stars struggles this season. They need better defense. They are top-loaded on the first two lines. They are regressing after a breakout season a year ago. But many are putting this squarely on goaltender Kari Lehtonen. Lehtonen has indeed struggled this season and backup options are not very good either. The Stars now sit in the cellar of the Central Division (but are three games over .500). Considering the investments made to bring in top players over the last two seasons, it will be interesting to see if the Stars are big sellers at the trade deadline or will stand pat for next year.
2/5/15: This was probably the first time in NHL history that the Dallas Star visiting the Ottawa Senators ever held a special attachment. The two are not natural rivals and only face each other a few times each season. But last week's game was special because it was Jason Spezza's first return to Ottawa after playing there for 11 years, averaging about a point per game and serving as their team captain. The Senators showed a nice montage tribute to Spezza during the game and the fans warmly welcomed him (after booing him the first time he touched the puck). Dallas won the game 6-3.
1/28/15: Teams from Boston have a way of disparaging players when they are no longer with the organization. And while this may go on in many places, Boston seems to have a real knack for it. Currently, the rumor around the Northeast (and the league) is that former Bruin Tyler Seguin was to much of a 'party animal' and was not focused on hockey. Seguin disputes that assertion and says the Bruins parted ways due to business reasons. In any case, the Dallas Stars are benefiting as Seguin is the second leading scorer in the league and is only 22 years old. So Boston can say what they want, the Stars have a franchise player for years.
1/21/15: The Dallas Stars had a nice run going, and did a great job of terrorizing the Western Conference for a couple of weeks. That was good enough to move them up in the standings a bit and get them into the suburbs of the playoff discussion. But the Stars have cooled off over the last week or so, and they have to be worried about goaltender Kari Lehtonen because he has not looked right for a few weeks. It is significant enough to give Anders Lindback a few starts, and that is probably not what the Stars want. In any case, they are not too far away from a playoff spot, but will need to dig deep to stay in the running.
1/14/15: The Central Division has a reputation of being the most competitive in all of the NHL, and there is very good reason for that. In fact, the third place team has 55 points already this season and even the last place team is .500 or better. Dallas had been in the cellar, but has been pretty strong over the last few weeks. They have earned points in seven of their last 10 games and could be a wild card threat if their solid play continues down the stretch. The Stars are at home to host Winnipeg on Thursday and the Washington Capitals on Saturday, then leave to play at Chicago on Sunday.
1/7/15: With the 2014 calendar year coming to a close, there has to be some mixed emotions in Dallas these days. The team got off to a terrible start, putting them near the cellar in the standings. But the Stars have been among the best teams over the past three weeks, with an 8-2 mark to show for it. It is also the time of year for the Winter Classic and other outdoor games. The Stars will play in an outdoor game in Minnesota, but it is unlikely they will host their own game any time soon. Of course, the outdoor game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles went well last season, so it seems like just a matter of time before there is an outdoor game in Dallas.
12/3/14: The Dallas Stars, like almost any professional sports team at some point, are going through a rough stretch where they are not playing their best. They are only 5-4-1 in their last 10 games, and that is simply mediocre in the hyper-competitive Central Division. That puts the team, through November, in sixth place (tied with the Colorado Avalanche) at a 9-10-5 record. Dallas is struggling on defense and has already allowed 84 goals, which is most in the Western Conference. The Stars may have to make a move soon to shore up the blue line or risk being relegated back to a non-playoff team.
11/19/14: The expectations in Dallas are sky-high after the team finally made the playoffs last season after a five year absence. But this season has not started off the way many had hoped. They struggled through an extended losing streak to find themselves at .500 with a 6-6-4 record. Good thing GM Jim Nill is not worried. He expected this and believes that the team must find their identity again. They could certainly use some help from Alex Hemsky, who has just one point in his last 15 games. The Stars have a couple of fun home games this week with Arizona on Thursday and the L.A. Kings on Saturday.
11/12/14: Chalk up the San Jose Sharks as another team that the Dallas Stars have to be wary of. In their game last weekend, the pesky Antoine Roussel hit Sharks goalie Alex Staylock while Stalock was out of the crease and handling the puck. That is a legal play, as Staylock essentially becomes a position player. But it is against the unwritten rules and a brawl broke out immediately afterward. San Jose used that as motivation and rallied to win the game 5-3, despite Tyler Seguin's hat trick. San Jose is not on the schedule in the near future, but it will be fun to watch when these teams get back together.
11/5/14: Dallas is an interesting team. GM Jim Nill made some impressive moves to get his roster, and it is a very talented group of guys on the ice. That being said, the team that got back into the playoffs after a six year hiatus is looking to take the next step. And that starts will protecting leads. The Stars have taken a one or two goal lead into the third period three times this year and lost. Don't worry, Stars fans. The team will get it together and learn how to win. For now, enjoy the fact that this is a fun team to watch and witness how they come together during the season.
10/29/14: The arrows continue to point up for the Dallas Stars. The team, admittedly, is shorthanded on defense and is playing with a few inexperienced guys. But the only way to get experience is to play, and the Stars have done a good job of that of late. Dallas shook off a controversial goal by New Jersey last Friday to battle back and win 3-2 in a shootout. It does help that the Devils have lost 18 consecutive shootouts, a stat which is mind-blowing. In any case, the Stars hung in there and had a 4-1-2 record through last Saturday, good for second place in the Central Division.
10/22/14: If you have to wait a few games to get your first win, then this is how you do it. Last Wednesday, the Stars trailed the host Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 with just a three minutes to play. They were able to score a tying goal, then finished it off in dramatic fashion. Tyler Seguin was able to take advantage of a very late power play and scored the winning goal with 2.9 seconds left in regulation. That is the type of win that gives a team confidence and gives fans reasons to believe. The Stars are out to prove they are a top team this season, and beating Pittsburgh in such a fashion is a good way to do so.
10/15/14: The Stars are looking to make the leap from 'barely in the playoffs' last season to established top-flight team in the Western Conference. To fortify that expectation, they signed Jason Spezza to be the number two center (which is becoming the most important position in the NHL) between Ales Hemsky and Erik Cole. They did not get that line on opening night as Stars head coach Lindy Ruff scratched Cole for being late for practice earlier in the week. It may have been a costly scratch as the Sharks fell to the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in a shootout.
10/8/14: The Dallas Stars know that they have a tough road ahead of them this year if they are going to return to the playoffs. The Stars play in the toughest division, arguably in all of sports. Many expect that the Blues, Blackhawks and Avalanche are locks, meaning there are only two wild card spots left. The Wild are strong and Vancouver should be back, so there will be a tight race this season. But this team grew a lot last season, so there should be optimism in Dallas. In any case, the Western Conference will once again be a great race to watch for hockey fans.
10/1/14: It was not all that long ago that the Dallas Stars were a very hot ticket in Big D. The former Minnesota NorthStars had an elite team, star players and even won a Stanley Cup. But all good things must come to an end, and the end was ugly. But, after missing the playoffs for five straight seasons, the Stars re-introduced themselves to postseason hockey. While they were eliminated in the first round, they showed that they are a rising team. They also had a great offseason and landed a few of the better free agents. The Stars look like a team that is ready to compete this season, which will only crowd an already hyper-competitive Western Conference.
9/24/14: The scariest moment of the 2013-14 season occurred on the Dallas Stars bench when Rich Peverley suffered a heart attack. Quick thinking and work from the training staff and his teammates saved his life. And that was a wonderful thing. Things are getting better for Peverley. There is no guarantee that he will ever play again, but he has been given the go-ahead to work out. He is not permitted to skate yet. There is no timeline for his return, but the fact that he is still with us today is a great item to pass along.
9/17/14: Perhaps kids will like the latest move from the Dallas Stars, because many others may just shake their head. The Stars introduced a new mascot: Victor E. Green. It is a greenish monster type being, with antennas and a traditional mascot pot belly. It could easily be a cousin to the famed Philly Phanatic, though there are no confirmed genealogical tests. In any case, it is a nice show of goodwill from the team towards the fans. And anything that helps get younger fans interested is usually met with open arms. Of course, the team probably hopes that their play is better than the name.
8/28/14: When the Dallas Stars hired Jim Nill as their GM a year ago there were many around the league who quietly applauded the move. Nill spent nearly two decades in the Detroit Red Wings organization, as they became a dominant team in the NHL on an annual basis. One year in and Stars owner Tom Gaglardi is impressed. The Stars made the playoffs last season for the first time in five years and have shown room for improvement. Acquiring Jason Spezza was a major coup and Dallas looks like a team that could be in the playoffs for several years to come at this point.
8/21/14: As the Stars on ice fortunes improve, so does their financial situation. The Stars were a big deal in the crowded Dallas sports market from the mid 1990's until the mid 2000's. Then the team struggled and so did attendance (and revenue). Dallas made the playoffs last spring for the first time in five years and are now an established team in the Western Conference. They may need to do even better to get the fans back; the Stars were 28th out of 30 teams in attendance last season by averaging only 14,700 per game. Maybe it is good for the team that the Cowboys are expected to struggle this season.
8/14/14: Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill spent 19 years with the Detroit Red Wings before joining the Stars a little over a year ago. So it should come as no surprise that Nill is trying to model the franchise after the Red Wings, particularly since Detroit has been a dominant franchise for the last two decades. Part of that is player development. The Stars announced that they are buying the AHL Texas Stars, which will give them more control. It also could allow the team to keep players in the AHL until they are really ready to make the jump to the NHL.
8/7/14: Advanced analytics has made its way into professional sports over the past decade or so - spawned by the Oakland A's and GM Billy Beane success in finding value. It is making its way into the NHL now. The Toronto Maple Leafs recently hired a 28 year old assistant GM to do analytics and other teams are following suit. The Stars are in that boat, but are not new to this game. They use a software program to measure metrics, which does the work of '100 college students'. More importantly is if this actually pays off as the Stars try to improve upon just making the playoffs last season.
7/31/14: The Stars went back and fourth with gritty forward Antoine Roussel for much of the summer, finally electing to take him to arbitration. The player and team were able to reach an agreement before going in front of an arbitrator, settling on a four year, $8 million deal. That indicates that the Stars view him as a key component of the team going forward. It is a good move for the Stars. Locking up the 24 year old for his prime years gives them stability on their checking line. And it is no small coincidence that guys like Roussel are extra important in the playoffs and often times are the difference between winning and losing.
7/24/14: Guys like Claude Lemieux and Pat Verbeek were invaluable in the playoffs back when they both played. They were the agitators that got under the opponents' skin. They fought for loose pucks in the corners. And they had a knack of scoring timely goals. The Stars think they have that type of player in Antoine Roussel, but they took him to arbitration with him to settle a contract dispute. Roussel wants $2.35 million and Stars are offering $1.15 million. It ended up not mattering as the two sides came to a contract agreement before it ever got to arbitration - agreeing on a four year contract for $8 million, which is closer to Roussel's demands.
7/17/14: Two years ago, the Tampa Bay Lightning thought they may have gotten a steal when they signed Predators' backup goalie Anders Lindback as a free agent. That simply did not work out and Lindback was demoted to backup when Tampa was able to get Ben Bishop. The Stars are hoping that a change in scenery will help and signed him. But they are hedging their bets. Dallas also signed Jussi Rynas, formerly of the Toronto Maple Leafs. In any case, Keri Lehtonen is still the number one keeper in Dallas and the Stars hope that someone can step up as a serviceable backup next season.
7/10/14: Dallas is doing what they can to be considered one of the upper echelon teams in the Western Conference. Getting to the playoffs last season was a step in the right direction. The Stars are off to a good start in free agency as well. The team was able to pry center Jason Spezza away from the Ottawa Senators via trade and believe they can sign him to a deal beyond the one year he has remaining on his contract. Dallas now looks poised to build off of last season's success and possibly rise as one of the Western powers.
7/3/14: The Stars are showing the type of aggressiveness in the offseason that fans love to see. The team made the playoffs but was quickly eliminated in the first round by the Anaheim Ducks. While not ideal, it is a good step towards progress as they had missed the playoffs for the previous five years. Now they are looking to add. The Stars and the St. Louis Blues are still in pursuit of Ottawa center Jason Spezza, one of the best free agents available. Neither team could craft a deal that the Senators were willing to take before the draft, but at least they were not refused by Spezza himself.
6/26/14: All the teams in the NHL are busy in both preparing for the NHL draft as well as gearing up for free agency - all in an effort to better their teams. The Stars are doing the same, but are also monitoring the progress of Rich Peverley. Peverley had a heart attack during a game earlier this year and was saved by the quick actions of the coaching and medical staff. He is lucky to be alive at this point, and like any true hockey player, wants to play again. He is making progress in his recovery. Here is hoping that he can make a return to the NHL, but even more important, is that he is still alive to even try to get back.
6/19/14: The Stars have not had the chance to play in an outdoor game since the NHL began doing these games a few years ago. They may get their chance in the near future. Dallas would not be the host, but apparently the Minnesota Wild wants to play the Stars in such a venue. That would be a great matchup, and not because both are playoff caliber teams. The Dallas Stars were the Minnesota Northstars for years and had a rabid following. The Wild have been in the league for about 15 years, so it would fun to see the old Northstar fans alongside the current Wild fans. And a chance to see the old green and gold Northstar jerseys.
6/12/14: There is some concern in Dallas that goaltender Kari Lehtonen is carrying too much of the load for the team. He led all goalies in games (65), and posted a respectable 33-20-10 record, 2.41 goal against, and a .919 save percentage. Those are pretty good numbers in the regular season. The concern is that he faded in the playoffs where his record was 2-4, 3.29 GAA and only an .885 save percentage. He may need some more help from a backup to stay fresh for the playoffs. Of course, playing Anaheim in the first round also could have hurt his numbers.
6/6/14: Like many teams, the Stars are looking to score more goals and create more scoring opportunities. They may have some help coming up in the ranks in Jason Dickinson. Dickinson was the second of two first round picks by the Stars a year ago and just signed his entry-level contract. He is only 18, but played very well in the OHL, leading the league with 52 assists and adding 24 points in 20 playoff games. He may end up in the NHL next season as there is uncertainty with Rich Peverley and his health condition in the future.
5/29/14: The Stars took a huge step forward this season by finally breaking through and making the playoffs for the first time in five years. They have preached developing their own players as the core to their rebuild, and look to improve on that in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft in Philadelphia next month. Stars General Manager Jim Nill thinks that there will be a lot of trades at the draft as teams try to move salaries. Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon seems to agree with that assessment and does not rule out a trade of the number one overall pick. The last time that happened was in 2003 when the Panthers sent the pick to the Penguins, who then selected goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
5/22/14: The Stars are kind of a bubble team right now. After missing the playoffs for five seasons and going through a painful rebuild, Dallas made the postseason this season. They were eliminated in the first round by the Western Conference leading Anaheim Ducks. But one playoff appearance does not validate a rebuild. The team will have to do it again next season and hopefully improve. Several teams have rebuilt and made the postseason only to fall apart in the next campaign. Help may be on the way in forward Alex Guptill. He has loads of talent and can score - which the Stars need. The only question is if he is finally ready for the NHL.
5/15/14: The season is over for the Dallas Stars. It was actually a pretty productive season for the team. They made the playoffs for the first time and have shown that they have the talent and chemistry to compete in the Western Conference of the NHL. But they may be taking a page out of Jerry Jones' playbook. Apparently, they would like to be in a stadium series game in Dallas at 'Jerry's World'. Considering that the L.A. Kings and Anaheim Ducks played a game at Dodger Stadium earlier in the year, it cannot be ruled out as a possibility - even as soon as next year.
5/8/14: If only it were this easy. The Stars were eliminated from the playoffs by the Anaheim Ducks a couple of weeks ago. Losing in the first round may seem like a deterrent, but this was the first time in five years that the Stars made the postseason, so that is something to be positive about. The Stars now want a 'top two defenseman'. That would help out, certainly, as they did a lousy job defending the net in the playoffs. Of course that is much easier said than done. However, if they can acquire one in the offseason, then look out for the Stars next season.
5/1/14: It may be little consolation right now, but the Dallas Stars deserve a lot of credit and respect. The Stars were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Anaheim Ducks, four games to two, but that does not tell the story. This was Dallas' first playoff appearance in five years, and they barely got in. They battled back to tie the series when they were down 2-0. They even held a two goal lead late in the third period of Game 6 before the Ducks rallied for an OT win. Dallas' future looks pretty bright, and there is no reason to expect that this postseason appearance was a fluke. The Stars will be back.
4/23/14: Like all Western Conference round one series, the home team won both of the first two games. For Dallas, that meant having to battle back at home or go down 3-0 in the series, which is an almost certain death knell. Just like the Chicago Blackhawks (vs. the St. Louis Blues) and the Minnesota Wild (vs. the Colorado Avalanche), the Stars dug in and made it a series. Dallas goalie Keri Lehtonen was brilliant in the 3-0 shut out of the Anaheim Ducks, which saw the Ducks' stars get overly frustrated. Another win and it will be tied up going back to Anaheim.
4/17/14: Congratulations goes out to the Dallas Stars who qualified for the playoffs for the first time in half of a decade. The Stars went 6-4 over a key stretch, which is hardly spectacular. However, they beat some good teams along the way, including the St. Louis Blues. Also helping out was the slump that the Phoenix Coyotes fell into over the same span - they went 2-4-4 and fell out of contention. The Stars will have the eighth seed in the playoffs, and will play the winner of the conference in the first round. For Dallas, it is the culmination of remaking the franchise over the past few years as this is a team on the rise.
4/10/14: Dallas is looking like a good bet to get into the playoffs this season, which would be the first time in five years. There are two wild card spots in the West up for grabs, and three teams chasing those spots: Minnesota Wild, Phoenix Coyotes, and Dallas Stars. The Wild seem fairly secure in the first wild card spot (7th overall) as they have a four point lead. The last spot will be a battle down to the wire. The Coyotes have a one point lead, but Dallas has two games in hand. Should the Stars clinch that last playoff spot, then they would likely face the St. Louis Blues, who are first overall in the Western Conference.
4/3/14: The Dallas Stars will not go quietly this season. They are in a tight battle for one of the two wild card playoff spots and only have a handful of games left to earn their way back to the postseason for the first time in five years. They made a statement by winning on the road against the mighty St. Louis Blues last Saturday. That win put them two points behind the Minnesota Wild and one point behind the Phoenix Coyotes for the two wild card offerings. It also put them four points ahead of their nearest chaser, Vancouver, which may knock the Canucks out of the running.
3/27/14: As strong as the top of the Western Conference is (with St. Louis, San Jose, Anaheim, Chicago, Colorado) the second tier is much less effective. There are a group of five teams that could have a chance at a playoff spot, including Phoenix, Dallas, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Nashville. At least that is what it looked like a couple weeks ago. Instead, it seems that everyone but Phoenix is allergic to winning, as no team (except the Coyotes) have won more than four of their past 10 games. Right now, that puts the Stars on the outside looking in. They need to make up four points on Phoenix and only have 13 games to do so.
3/20/14: It has been five long years since the Dallas Stars last made the NHL playoffs, but that could be changing this season. The Stars have opened up a bit of a lead in the points standings and look like they may be getting back to the postseason. Vancouver looks like a team that has given up on the season, and should not be an issue. However, the Winnipeg Jets are lurking. The Jets franchise has not been to the playoffs since 2007 when they were the Atlanta Thrashers. However, if the Stars can play at .500 or better, they should be a lock for at least the second wild card spot.
3/13/14: One of the better problems to have, particularly at playoff time, is too much goaltending. That may be an issue the Stars will enjoy as they make their playoff push. Dallas traded with the Florida Panthers for Tim Thomas, less than 24 hours after acquiring Roberto Luongo from Vancouver. That avoids a potentially awkward tandem of Luongo and Thomas, who faced each other in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals and bickered quite a bit. Thomas will be insurance for starter Keri Lehtonen, who is entrenched as the Stars' starting goalie. But again, it is good insurance if they need it.
3/6/14: The Stars have been up and down since the Olympic break - unable to gain valuable points on their rivals but doing enough to stay in the hunt. With roughly 20 games left in the regular season, it is a mad dash in the Western Conference for playoff spots and playoff positioning. Essentially, the top seven spots look to close to locked up. That means that there are five teams fighting for that last elusive spot. Those team include Dallas, Vancouver, and Winnipeg (all with 66 points), Phoenix (65 points) and even Nashville (62 points). Anything could happen in the final month, and that 8th seed can win the Stanley Cup.
2/27/14: By no means are the Stars a perfect team. They have been rebuilding, without much success, for the better part of the past decade. But of all the issues the team may have, goaltending is not one of them. Starting goalie Kari Lehtonen has been solid all year for the Stars and played well at the Olympics. He stopped 20 of 21 shots in a 6-1 Finland win over Norway. The Stars have a good shot at making the playoffs this year and they will need Lehtonen to be at his best. Kari has only played in two playoff games, so this Olympic experience is good for him to learn about playing in big games.
2/20/14: A common theme on NHL rosters this season is that better teams have more players on Olympic rosters than lower tier teams. The Stars are a bit of an exception to this rule. Dallas is fighting for a playoff birth and currently holds a wild card spot in the West (they would be in easily in the East), though they only have three Olympians: Jamie Benn (Canada) Valeri Nichushkin (Russia) and Kari Lehtonen (Finland). Lehtonen is an interesting case. He is 1-0 in the Olympics, but the Finns also have Tuukka Rask and Antti Niemi. Any other year and he probably would be the easy choice as the number one goalie for Finland.
2/13/14: Things are starting to look up in Dallas these days. As the NHL breaks for the Olympics, the Stars now find themselves with the second (and last) wild card spot. Sure there is a lot of time between now and the playoffs, but getting into the mix is very important. In their last game before the break, the Stars beat the Coyotes 2-1. The Coyotes were the second wild card holder going into last Saturday's game, but now find themselves on the outside looking in. It should be a wild finish in the west, with at least five teams sitting on the bubble, and only room for two.
2/6/14: This must have been a sweet win for goalie Dan Ellis. The Stars gave him the start against his former team, the Anaheim Ducks, last week. Not only did he get the win, he got the shutout. Ellis is familiar with the Ducks' top line and used that knowledge to his advantage in the 2-0 win. It was the 14th shutout of his career, and helps keep the Stars' playoff hopes alive. Ellis only played in 23 games for the Ducks, but was target practice for team in their workouts. He even stopped Corey Perry's point blank shot in the final minute to secure the win.
1/30/14: Dallas has an uphill battle throughout the rest of the season if they are going to avoid their fifth straight year of missing the playoffs. They are currently six points out of eighth place, sitting in 10th in the Western Conference. At least they have not lost their sense of humor. With the Toronto Maple Leafs in town, which coincided with pop star Justin Bieber getting arrested, the Stars' video board took time to poke fun at both, claiming that Bieber (who is from Stratford, Ontario) is a Maple Leafs fan and showed his mug shot.
1/23/14: The Stars dodged a bullet last week when the NHL announced that they will not review Dallas captain Jamie Benn's elbow to the face of Minnesota Wild forward Matt Cooke. Benn did not get a penalty during the game and now seems to be in the clear - at least as far as punitive measures go. The league ruled that the elbow was raised in a protective manner, meaning that Benn was trying to protect himself in the action and not hit another player. It is a fine line when it comes to hits to the head, something that all sports leagues are trying to crack down on in this concussion age.
1/16/14: The Stars really must evaluate if they are moving forward or not. They have missed the playoffs for the past four seasons and seem stuck in the same mediocrity for that entire time. If the playoffs started today, the Stars would be on the outside looking in. The good news is that they have another 38 games to right the ship. They are only four points out of the last wild card spot and have some significant talent on their roster. If they can leverage Tyler Seguin's natural talent, and teach him to be a real pro, then this could be a very dangerous team in April and May.
1/9/14: The Stars hope to be healing up and getting some key players back this week. The team has dropped three of their past four games and needs to pick up the pace in order to secure a playoff spot down the road. Sergei Gonchar has missed the past six games with concussion-like symptoms. Also, Trevor Daley has been out for 14 games with an ankle injury. These are two of the Stars' top four defensemen, and are not easily replaceable. The mantra may be next man up, but the reality is that the backup is usually the backup for a reason. With Gonchar and Daley back, perhaps the Stars can protect the net better and make a strong playoff push.
1/2/14: A 19-12-6 record, good for 44 points seems like a good place to be. In the Eastern Conference, that mark would be tied for second in the Metropolitan Division. In the Central Division, where the Starts now reside, that is good for fifth place and not good enough for the playoffs. Dallas has played fairly well of late, winning six of their last 10 games. The team is getting healthier as well, as Aaron Rome has returned from injury and that may help solidify the defense going forward. It seems that most years some team rallies in the second half to get into the playoffs, and the Stars seem to have the makeup to be that team this season.
12/26/13: Now that the season is close to being half over, it may be a good time to look at the Stars and the Tyler Seguin trade from last summer. There were several prospects involved in the trade, but it comes downs to Seguin for Stars fan favorite Loui Eriksson. Seguin has made an impressive change. He is obviously the Stars' best player, but has matured into being a franchise player. In 29 games, he has 17 goals and 14 assists. The best news is that is he only 21 and looks like he can carry a franchise for many years. So the price may have been expensive, but it looks like the Stars have a guy they can count on for another decade.
12/19/13: The Dallas Stars are none too happy with Anthony Peluso and the Winnipeg Jets. Peluso hit the Stars' Alex Goligoski from behind, cutting him up and sending him to the locker room for treatment. Goligoski returned the game, while Peluso was ejected. Stars head coach Lindy Ruff called the hit 'a joke' and said this is the type of hit that needs to be removed from the game. Peluso will have a hearing with the NFL about the hit. The good news for Dallas is that they won the game and put two points between them and the Jets in the tightly contested Central Division.
12/12/13: As the Stars keep jockeying for playoff position (yes, the playoffs are still over four months away, but the Western Conference is ultra-competitive), they will be without one of their more sturdy role players for a bit. The Stars are saying that Vernon Fiddler is out at least a week with an upper body injury. Of course, that could mean anything from a concussion to a hangnail, but the NHL does not require such denotations. Dallas moved young forward Cody Eakin into Fiddler's spot for the time being. Dallas has been especially unlucky with injuries of late, but if they can hold serve for the next few weeks then they enter the stretch run healthy, hopefully.
12/5/13: Dallas has a good team. They are three games above .500 and have shown a lot of improvement this season over past years. However, that is good enough only for last place in the Central Division - which is simply crazy. The Stars did accomplish a rare feat against the Anaheim Ducks by netting three goals in only 53 seconds. The quick burst of goals led the Stars to a 6-3 victory, which snapped a two game losing streak. It was probably a little extra special for backup goaltender Dan Ellis, who got the win over his former team.
11/28/13: If you are the GM of an NHL team and you are itching to make a trade, then just call the Flames - they seem willing to make deals at this point. That being said, they may not have much you would want. They did have something the Stars wanted, as the two teams made a deal last week. The Stars shipped out 24 year old winger Lane MacDermid in exchange for the Flames' sixth round pick next year. MacDermid has not played much for Dallas this season and appeared in only six of 21 games. Perhaps he will get a fresh start in Calgary.
11/21/13: Dallas has been seeking more depth on offense, as they are learning the hard way that two or three good lines does not cut it in the Western Conference. To that end, they claimed forward Dustin Jeffrey off waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins last week. Jeffrey is more of a center than a winger, but Stars already have a stable of centers with Vernon Fiddler, Cody Eakin, Shawn Horcoff, and Travis Morin. Jeffrey will probably have to play wing on a lower line to get ice time with that group ahead of him. Dallas sent defenseman Aaron Rome to the Texas Stars of the AHL to make a roster spot for Jeffery.
11/14/13: It is far too early to tell yet, but Stars' rookie Alex Chaisson may be able to make a claim for rookie of the year. He got into the league late last season and put up 10 goals in his first 10 games. He started this season hot as well, with five goals in his first nine games. The goals have fallen off a bit, but he is still helping out with the assists. Currently, he ranks fourth among rookies with 11 points. Dallas can certainly use his offensive touch as they only have 46 goals as a team for the season so far. In any case, Chaisson is a welcome addition to the Stars and should be an impact player for a long time.
11/7/13: The Stars may be fuming about the quick turnaround by the Colorado Avalanche as they have struggled for the last half decade in rebuilding their franchise. Meanwhile, the Avs had a couple of down years, one terrible season, and now they are on top of the league. The two teams faced off last week. While Dallas could not stop the Avs, they did take them to overtime. Goaltender Kari Lehetonin played spectacular and even Avs coach Patrick Roy credited him with keeping the Avs from taking both points. While Kari is playing great, the Stars need some offense to help him out.
10/31/13: The Stars have not won a lot of games this season, but they got their starting goaltender Kari Lehtonin back last week and it made a world of difference. The Stars first game with Lehtonin back was a 5-1 drubbing of the Calgary Flames. The Stars struck first but Calgary tied it. The Dallas took control, scoring three quick goals in the second period to make it 4-1. Jamie Benn scored his second of the game to make it 5-1, which would end up being the final score. When the Stars are healthy, they can compete with anyone in the league, but that has been an issue this young season.
10/24/13: After a few weeks into the NHL season, the Dallas Stars find themselves in the cellar of the Western Central division. The Stars have lost three successive games, most recently dropping a game to the L.A. Kings 5-2. One possible big reason for the losing streak is that their starting goaltender, Kari Lehtonen, has missed all of those games with a lower body injury. Lehtonen did practice over the weekend, but was still a few days away from getting back into an actual game. Through seven games, the Stars have a 3-4 record. That would be in the middle of the pack in the Eastern Conference, but the West is so strong - meaning the Stars need their goalie back immediately.
10/17/13: Through the first two weeks of the season, Dallas is sitting at a level 500. They started off pretty well, but got cooled down by the Minnesota Wild and all of their rookies last week in a 5-1 loss. Before that, the Stars had given up only 6 goals in three games. The issue looks pretty obvious - Dallas simply is not scoring as much as they need to. Through four games, they only have nine goals and that lack of production simply will not get it done in the NHL. The Stars are trying to develop through their defense, which is a sound strategy for rebuilding. However, they do need to score some goals if they want to win.
10/10/13: The Dallas Stars were among the most active teams in the offseason. They were obviously unhappy with their performance for the past several years so they brought in Jim Nill as GM and Lindsey Ruff as the new head coach. The debut did not live up to hopes. The Stars led the Florida Panthers 2-1 in the third period, but allowed the Panthers to rally and win 4-2. It may take some time for the team to gel under the new regime. Ruff employs a different style of play. However, Ruff led the Buffalo Sabres for 15 years, which did include a Stanley Cup appearance. It may take some time, but the Stars are finally in good hands.
10/3/13: The Dallas Stars have missed the playoffs for the past five seasons - which seems hard to believe. Ownership completely overhauled the front office in the offseason, naming Jim Nill as General Manager. Nill served in the Red Wings front office for years and knows how to build a sustainable winning franchise. He hired long-time Buffalo Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff to lead the team, and that is certainly an upgrade. Dallas should be able to score, especially now that center Tyler Seguin is on the team and will be paired with Jaime Benn and Eric Cole on the first line.
9/26/13: Dallas announced this past week that Jamie Benn would be the sixth captain in Stars history. The 24 year old forward has played all four of his pro seasons with the Stars and is part of their talented youth. Last season, he led the team with 33 goals in 41 games to go with a team high 110 shots. Since his arrival, only Loui Erikson has more points for the Stars. Benn was an all star in 2012 and even won the accuracy portion of the skills contract. This looks to be a sign that the team wants to keep Benn around for many years and that they are committed to developing their own players.
9/19/13: Some scary news out of Dallas this week. Center Rich Peverley will undergo a medical procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat. He is expected to miss three weeks. He has been held out of training camp thus far after an EKG test detected the irregular heartbeat. He can still skate, but will not be permitted to participate in any contact drills. Anytime a cardiac issue arises is time for concern, but reports indicate that this was detected early. Peverley is expected to play a big role for the Stars this season, but his health is far more important than hockey games.
9/12/13: It has been five seasons since the Dallas Stars last made the playoffs. Part of that was that the Western Conference (as a whole) simply got better. It does seem that there is more competitive balance in the West compared to the East. But part of that is also the lack of defense for the Stars. It is a good thing for them that defenseman Trevor Daley is getting back to health. Daley suffered a neck injury that required surgery. The good news is that he is cleared to play and 'feeling great'. The Stars need him this year as the West is not getting any easier.
9/4/13: For those that think that coaches do not talk to each other about business, think again. New Stars head coach Lindy Ruff knows he may have a handful with young star Tyler Seguin. Seguin is loaded with talent but is young and has not displayed much maturity. He was enough of a handful that the Bruins bailed on him and he is only 22 years old. Ruff used his time at the Canadian Hockey Camp to pick the brain of Seguin's former coach, Claude Julien. Perhaps it was about how to best use Seguin, or perhaps it was to try to understand the young man who seems to have a bit of Johnny Manziel Syndrome.
8/29/13: A .500 record does not cut it in the Western Conference - just tell the Dallas Stars. The team finished 22-22-4 last season. That was good enough to be last in the division. Dallas' biggest offseason move was acquiring young star Tyler Seguin from Boston. Seguin is loaded with skill, but the knock on the 22 year old is that he is immature. Sequin dismisses those charges and says he wants to take on a leadership role with the Stars this season. He may be a bit young to be the leader, but his attitude seems right and should help the Stars regardless.
8/22/13: The Stars struggles for the past few seasons are kind of a mystery. True, the team has undergone an ownership change, and true, the team changed general managers and head coaches, but there has still be a lot of talent on the Stars. Part of their struggles may be due to face offs. The Stars were among the worst in the league at winning face offs last year, at under 48%. In fact, only one regular center was over 50% on the season. Tyler Seguin may be able to help out. Winning the faceoff puts the team on offense off the bat, and that can lead to more scoring opportunities and less scoring opportunities for the opposition. Anything would help at this point, and the Stars will make a point to be better on face offs this season.
8/15/13: The Stars are introducing a new jersey this season and are going back to their original green as their primary color - just like back in the old Minnesota Northstars days. This will be a welcome departure from the black and green from the past two decades, which never really looked right. Goalie Kari Lehtonen's new mask is heavy on the green and new logo and looks great. The Stars just hope he can play as well as his mask looks. One thing that always seemed strange was that the team changed their name from the iconic "Northstars" to the generic "Stars". Why they did not go with "Lonestars" has always been a puzzler.
8/8/12: In the NFL draft, first round draft picks are on the roster, and many will start. The NHL is much different, and the Stars are showing that now. Most draft picks are between 18-21 years old, and can play in college after being selected. This gives them time to develop because very few 18 year olds are ready for the rigors of the NHL. Dallas is sending their 2012 first round pick, Radek Faska, back to the junior leagues in Kitchener, Ontario. He will practice with the team in the summer, but will get more ice time at a lower level. But give him a couple years and he will be in the big leagues.
7/18/13: A year ago, there was a lot of optimism surrounding the Dallas Stars camp - new owner, young talent, and a new coach. That turned into finishing last in the Division and missing the playoffs, again. This time around they hired an expert. They hired Jim Nill as their General Manager. Nill spent 19 seasons in the front office with the Detroit Red Wings and understands scouting out of market players and developing them at the proper pace. So it looks like the Stars are going in an entirely new direction and will make a commitment to developing prospects for the long haul, the way the Red Wings have done.
7/11/13: Tyler Seguin is a very talented young player, but has shown immaturity problems in the past - which is why the Boston Bruins found him expendable. However, even before he stepped foot in Texas as a new member of the (continually) rebuilding Dallas Stars he found himself in hot water with the team. A Tweet went out from his account with a quote from Full Metal Jacket that is a slur. He claims his account was hacked - which is what a lot of people do when inappropriate posts go public. The smart thing is that he agreed to shut down his Twitter account for a while. This could be fun following him around for the next few years in Dallas.
6/27/13: The Stars found their new bench man this past week and hope that hiring Lindy Ruff to be the head coach will turn the team around. The Stars have been inconsistent and mediocre since they fired Ken Hitchcock several years ago, and have missed the playoffs in the past four seasons. Dallas actually has some talent on their team, and hiring Ruff makes perfect sense. He routinely kept the Sabres competitive for 14 years, even though he rarely had better than average talent. He did take the team to the Stanley Cup finals in the late 1990's, but lost (ironically) to the Dallas Stars.
6/6/13: Dallas is becoming a very difficult franchise to trust. The team has missed the playoff for the past several years and is inconsistent in their actions. The Stars say they want to get younger and develop their own talent through the draft. Then they brought on Jarimir Jagr and Ray Whitney (both over 40 years old) last season. They traded away Jagr at the trade deadline, insisting on developing talent. However, they contradicted themselves again by brining in 40 year old Sergei Gonchar for a two year, $10 million deal. It will be tough to get young guys experience when big salaries are going to over the hill players.
6/6/13: The Stars front office shocked us all when they ended up trading Captain Brendan Morrow, Derek Roy, and Jaromir Jagr. The Stars seemed to give up hope on the season and was aiming for a higher draft pick in the upcoming draft. Scott White will join the Dallas Stars as the director of hockey operations while retaining his role as GM of the Texas Stars, Dallas' development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL). Frank Provenzano's previously served as the club's assistant general manager for the past seven seasons but his contract will not be renewed. Let's hope that all of these changes are for the better of the team in the end
5/2/13: Dallas, like Colorado started their spring cleaning immediately after the season ended. First out the door was general manager Joe Nieuwendyk. Joey N did a decent job of putting pieces together, particularly under the former tight-budgeted ownership. However, the Stars missed the playoffs for the fifth consecutive year, so the firing was expected. Perhaps if this had been a full season, then the Stars may have made the postseason. The Stars are not wasting any time filling the GM position, as Detroit's assistant GM Jim Nill is expected to be named to the post very soon.
4/25/13: Can the Dallas Stars pull off the miracle and actually make the playoffs this year? The odds are against the team, but they continue to fight for a playoff birth. Most people thought that the team management had given up on the Stars when they started trading off their players at the trade deadline. But this team responded well, and is now on the verge of the postseason. It will not be easy and they need some help from the rest of the Western Conference to knock off the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets. In any case, the Stars are now showing what they will be in the future, and that is good for Dallas fans.
3/21/13: Dallas has struggled as of late, losing four in a row and being outscored 16-3 in that span. They snapped the skid by knocking off the home Avalanche 3-2, which equaled their offensive output for the previous four games combined. Dallas sits with 13 wins on the season, and a record above 500. However, a marginally positive standing position is no way to get into the playoffs in the West. If the team can pull together for the final stretch, produce some offense, and get a goalie healthy, then there can still be playoffs in the Lonestar State. If not, it will be yet another year without the Stars in the playoffs.
3/7/13: At 11-9-2, two games above .500, the Stars should be sitting in a pretty good place - especially after manhandling a strong St. Louis team 4-1 on Sunday. The Stars are tied for third with 24 points with San Jose and Los Angeles, and one point behind Phoenix. They are all chasing Anaheim who leads the division with 33 points. As the trade deadline nears, the Stars are rumored to be shopping winger Brendan Morrow. Morrow is 34 and has spent his entire career in Dallas. The power forward has 5 goals and 10 points in 22 games, but the Stars are trying to rebuild with youth.
2/28/13: Dallas and Montreal traded veteran forwards this week. The Stars sent right wing Michael Ryder and a third round draft pick to the Canadiens for right winger Erik Cole. Cole is a big and fast skater, the kind of guy that people hate playing against. Dallas has been average this season. They missed the playoffs int he 2011 - 2012 campaign as they restructured and even brought in new ownership. They had hoped that this would be the season they were competitive again. Maybe so in the East, but not in the super competitive Western Conference.
2/7/13: Dallas stands at 5-5-1, good enough for third place in the Division but four points behind both San Jose and Anaheim. That other California team (the defending champion L.A. Kings) is in last and is suffering from the Stanley Cup hangover. Unfortunately for the Stars, veteran leader Ray Whitney is out four to six weeks with a broken foot. That would put his return around late March. The good news is that he will not have any obligations which could hold him back from enjoying Mardi Gras next week. Reilly Smith has been recalled to take Whitney's roster spot. Whitney is a crafty veteran, and his leadership will be missed.
1/31/13: Dallas picked up a couple of 40-something legends in Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney this offseason to help groom the young talent they have on the roster. And that is a season-long process, so overnight success should not be expected. However, the Stars are developing an overly defensive team with a languishing playing style right now - one that is not likely to convert new fans quickly. Dalllas needs to work on their offense in order to threaten other teams. Otherwise, they will simply play defense while the opposition tees up all night, the way the Blues did on Saturday.
11/29/12: Veteran NHLer Ray Whitney has seen it all and commands the utmost respect. He has played on some great clubs, been part of miracle playoff runs, and lived through the last lockout. He certainly has earned the respect of his peers and the community when he comments on the NHL. Whitney has come out and referred to the NHL as "school yard bullies". Others have been vocal against the NHL during the lockout, and it remains to be seen if the NHL will enact any discipline or sanctions against those going against the league once play resumes.
11/12/12: New owner Tom Gaglardi gets it. He does not want to be like Daniel Snyder of the Washington Redskins - an owner that goes after the highest profile free agents, signs them to outrageous contracts, then watches them fail time and time again. Instead, he wants to build his team by drafting and developing players, then complementing that talent with reasonably priced free agents and trades. He understands that payroll cannot get out of hand on a few players, and that may be way he would listen to offers for Brendan Morrow whenever the lockout ends.
11/15/12: The biggest news out of the Dallas Stars this week is that new owner Tom Gaglardi confirmed that the team will trot out new jerseys at some point. Gaglardi spoke on radio about 're-branding' the team, which may include a new logo and possibly even new team colors. Dallas is the only NHL team that does not feature the logo on the chest (though one could argue that neither do the New York Rangers). The Stars have changed jersey designs frequently since moving to Dallas, which have typically been on the ugly side. No word yet on the final design or launch date, but surely the new unis will be better than the garish examples of the past.
11/8/12: Stars captain Brendan Morrow may be the odd man out as a top 4 forward on the team after the signings of Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney. While the Stars would probably be foolish to trade Morrow since Jagr and Whitney are both over 40 and nearing retirement, that option is on the table. Teams like the St. Louis Blues, Minnesota Wild, and Washington Capitals all need a strong scoring winger, so the Stars should expect some calls if and when the lockout ends. However, keeping Morrow makes the most sense, especially since playoff hockey is often won on the third line.
11/1/12: Jaromir Jagr signed to play in his native Kladno in the Czech Republic, though he is sitting out right now with an injury. But he is taking the more mature, elderstatesman role in the lockout, choosing not to hurl insults at the owners. In fact. Jagr is essentially defending ownership and not calling them cheaters. Rather, he understands that the owners are businessmen who are trying to achieve profitability. These words are in stark contrast to Ryan Suter of the Wild who insinuated that the owners signed big contracts prior to the lockout in bad faith. Hopefully, a new CBA will come soon and all of this can be a distant memory.
10/18/12: When Jimmy Johnson was coaching the Dallas Cowboys he routinely found gems in middle and late rounds. The Stars have taken a page from Johnson's playbook with Jamie Benn. Drafted in the fifth round and entering his fourth season, Benn has developed into one of the best young centers in the league. It helps to have Loui Eriksson on his wing, and Benn may have future hall-of-famer Jarmir Jagr on his other side this season. At only 23 years of age, many Stars fans are depending on him to bring Dallas back to the post season for the first time since 2008.
10/4/12: The latest Stars defection is Tom Wandell. Wandell was linked to discussions with Sodertalje SK in Sweeden, but surprised everyone by signing with Severstal Cherepovets in the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia. Wandell played with Sodertalje earlier in his hockey career, both at the junior and senior levels before moving to the NHL. With Severstal, he will join fellow Swedes Niclas Andersen and Niclas Bergfors, who spent some time with the Devils, Predators, and Panthers. Wandell is just the latest player to head overseas to play during the lockout, and as the work stoppage drags on, expect more and bigger name players to jump on a plane to find a rink.
8/16/12: As if the Ducks management did not have enough to deal with, now comes this? Anaheim has an unhappy start who wants out, lost their prize defensive prospect through a little-known loophole, had to coax their best player (at age 41) to not retire, are under constant scrutiny for sticking with an underachieving veteran club rather than commit to a youth movement, and have missed the playoffs for the past three years. Now jury selection has begun in a lawsuit filed by a woman who claims GM Bob Murray hit her with a barstool in a fit of rage after the Red Wings scored the go-ahead goal in a playoff game three years ago. Tough offseason.
8/2/12: Goaltender Kari Lehtonen has a strong grip on the #1 goalie job, and that is not in doubt. But Richard Bachman looks like his work last year will get him the backup job. Bachman was called up when Lehtonen suffered a groin injury last season and played well enough to take the job from Andrew Raycroft. Raycroft was sent to the AHL once Lehtonen returned. The Stars rewarded Bachman with a one year deal in the offseason, which will give him the chance for a nice free agency next offseason if the Stars decide not to extend him.
7/26/12: Dallas fans had to be worried once word broke the the Flyers made an offer sheet for Nashville restricted free agent Shea Weber. The Flyers offer a mammoth 14 year, $110 million deal which Nashville was forced to match. Offer sheets on restricted free agents are not too common in the NHL, almost as if there is a gentleman's agreement to not interfere. But if the Flyers dared to pull this move, then what would stop someone else from doing the same with the Stars' Jamie Benn? The Stars will not discuss resigning Benn until a new CBA is in place, but they run the risk of someone making a huge offer which they will have to match.
5/23/12: Dallas Stars fans finally have something to cheer about. According to president Jim Lites: 'We are without a budget?.we have an owner who is willing to spend and (we) are not being run by the league.' Translation: expect Dallas to be players in free agency this offseason. Really, the only constraint on the team will be decided by the new Collective Bargaining Agreement which will cap the total salaries available. The Stars have been plagued by ownership issues for the past four years, and the results have shown on the ice - as the Stars missed the playoffs again this season.
5/16/12: The Dallas Stars will be looking for offensive help this offseason - most notably on the power play, which ranked last in the league at only 13.5%. Many ave pointd sitting (rather than playing) Jamie Benn for several long stretches in the past season as a culprit. But Dallas was not succussful on the power play regardless of whom was on the ice. New owner Tom Gaglardi is expected to open the pursestrings and give General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk more leeway in pursuing free agents come July 1. To assist him, the Stars hired former coach and GM Bob Gainey as a Senior Advisor in the hockey department.
5/11/12: Goaltender Kari Lehtonen carried the club for the majority of the season, before tiring out and stumbling down the stretch. A few weeks off seems to have benefited him, as he is stealing the show at the World Hockey Championships. He is the starting goalie for host Finland, and has led them to a 3-0-0 record in Group A, with a tournament-leading save percentage of .973. Fellow Star Jamie Benn has 3 goals and 4 points so far, good for 6th in scoring. The Stars need Lehtonen to continue this play next season in order to make the playoffs.
5/3/12: The Dallas Stars figure to be busy in the offseason, particularly building up a more potent offense and more youthful energy. The Stars were plagued by slow starts throughout the year, forcing them to play from behind and take chances they otherwise would have avoided. Perhaps the turning point was in mid-March against the Chicago Blackhawks. With the Stars still in the playoff hunt, Chicago scored two goals in the first 92 seconds, completely deflating Dallas, en route to a 4-2 victory. With a full offseason under a new owner and a high draft pick, the Stars should be playoff contenders next season.
4/25/12: The consolation prize for many of the top players not in the playoffs is the chance to play for their home country in the annual World Championships, held this year in Finland and Sweeden in May. The Stars will be well represented, with at least six players planning on playing: Number one goalie Kari Lehtonin (Finland), team leading scorer Loui Eriksson (Sweeden), defenseman Alex Goligosky and backup goalie Richard Bachman (USA), center Jamie Benn (Canada), and defenseman Phillip Larsen (Denmark). Selection to one's team is a tremendous honor, and gives the players a chance to compete against the world's best.
4/17/12: Dallas expects to be much more active in trades and free agency this offseason, as new owner (since November)
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Next 20 Games
|Oct 8, 2015||Pittsburgh Penguins vs Dallas Stars|
|Oct 10, 2015||Dallas Stars vs Colorado Avalanche|
|Oct 13, 2015||Edmonton Oilers vs Dallas Stars|
|Oct 15, 2015||Dallas Stars vs Tampa Bay Lightning|
|Oct 17, 2015||Dallas Stars vs Florida Panthers|
|Oct 20, 2015||Dallas Stars vs Philadelphia Flyers|
Scores and Schedule
|Apr 11, 2015||Nashville Predators - Dallas Stars||1 - 4|
|Apr 8, 2015||Dallas Stars - Anaheim Ducks||4 - 0|
|Apr 4, 2015||Dallas Stars - Nashville Predators||4 - 3|
|Apr 3, 2015||St. Louis Blues - Dallas Stars||7 - 5|
|Mar 30, 2015||Calgary Flames - Dallas Stars||5 - 3|
|Mar 27, 2015||Dallas Stars - Edmonton Oilers||0 - 4|
|Mar 23, 2015||Buffalo Sabres - Dallas Stars||3 - 4|
|Mar 21, 2015||Chicago Blackhawks - Dallas Stars||0 - 4|
|Mar 19, 2015||Pittsburgh Penguins - Dallas Stars||1 - 2|
|Mar 15, 2015||St. Louis Blues - Dallas Stars||3 - 0|
|Mar 13, 2015||Dallas Stars - Washington Capitals||4 - 2|
|Mar 12, 2015||Dallas Stars - Carolina Hurricanes||5 - 3|
|Mar 10, 2015||Dallas Stars - Philadelphia Flyers||2 - 1|
|Mar 7, 2015||Dallas Stars - Tampa Bay Lightning||4 - 5|
|Mar 5, 2015||Dallas Stars - Florida Panthers||4 - 3|
|Mar 3, 2015||New York Islanders - Dallas Stars||2 - 3|
|Mar 1, 2015||Anaheim Ducks - Dallas Stars||3 - 1|