Losin’ on October’s last day and November’s first to close the season’s unofficial first month begs a simple but double-entendre laced ponderin’; “Where are the Dallas Stars?” Record says they’re 4-3-4, 12 points, and pretty much in the middle. They’ve blown some games, stolen a couple of points, have a nearly impossible to hit or explain 1-0-4 mark at home, and depending on how you look at it are either well positioned to make a run or are a week away from being closer to the bottom than the top. So that’s where they are…
But – where are the Dallas Stars? You know – the Dallas Stars? The fast-skatin’, hard-chargin, puck-possessin’, no-excuse makin’, everybody ropin’ and ridin’ up and comers who caught opponents unawares and had all of us in the palm of their hand as they put on a six month show worthy of our attention and the league’s respect?
That’s the question ain’t it? And right now – in this conference and in this division and in this man’s NHL let me point out the very obvious; figuring out where they went and getting them back out there as soon as possible is recommended. Math gets tricky even 30 days from now. That’s a fact. Look it up you don’t believe me.
Let’s go with what’s good first though. Hockey guys tell me and I believe ‘em that regulation losses column is the only one that matters. Lower the number – better your chances to make the playoffs. Another fact. Look it up you don’t believe me. And the Stars have only 3 through 11 games. That’s like 23 through a season. Throw that one up there and you’re home for the first two games in mid-April. Got the League’s leading scorer and lots of guys on career paces. Power play is better. Gotta have that. And penalty kill is coming around. And the schedule did ‘em no favors at all the first unofficial month. Every team a playoff team or a team that got way better and think they’re a playoff team.
And yep everybody has injuries but this space says those things are real and it’s bold to battle through ‘em and all but who’s kidding who? Wrong guys get hurt and the dominos can fall. A top six forward, your most veteran defenseman who had a good camp, a versatile gamer of a forward who’s been to the top who might not play again, a young defenseman who had already arrived all missing… it’s a challenge.
Then there’s pressure. Lots of it. The kind they didn’t know about last year but they feel every day now. They got better in the summer everybody says. They did get better in the summer. So go on now – be better. Right now. No time for adjustments or easing in – this is the Central Division that sent 5 teams to the playoffs last year. And the Western Conference where there are at least that many teams that might could win the whole thing. And the secret is out fella’s – they see ya comin’ now. No more sneaking up on anybody, no more flying below the radar. They’re all game plannin’ for ya. They know where it hurts.
The core is what we call it – the group you build around. And it’s still here and they’ve added to it. The GM is doin’ his thing – Lindy got the day to day – and Jamie Benn is learnin’ about how to handle the target on his back and then there’s new and old guys getting back up to speed. Just how this goes. Takes time – which they don’t have a ton of. Oh they got some – just not a ton.
And now they’re gonna get a few bodies back which will help. And they’re gonna play 9 of their next 13 at home. Which is good. Forget the 1-0-4 thing. Remember the 0 thing. Throw that up there after 41 home games. See?
So – where are the Dallas Stars?
Well – they’re not here yet. But look for the signs. Because I’ll tell ya something else you should believe me about. Teams that pick up points in 8 of 11 games when they’re this out of synch… look out. ‘Cause when we do find ‘em and get ‘em back out there… oh boy.