The Dallas Stars - The Ride Home
Well there it is. Three game road trip. 4 points. If you believe my previous post; I should be happy now right? I guess I am. The results could have been a lot worse of course and the play has been entertaining…
You can tell there’s a “but” can’t you?
BUT there are two really serious causes for concern for the Dallas camp for the home games against Nashville and Boston.
1: Penalty killing.
The Stars will be traveling home later today and will most likely not be in practice until Tuesday (October 13th). This gives us less than 24 hours to up the performance in a major part of todays game.
If you include the home opener against Nashville, Dallas have been involved in three shootout decider’s this season - two of them on this road trip - and lost all of them.
Perhaps the irony of the early season is - in the face of a bucket load of adversity from fans and reporters alike - Marty Turco has been relatively consistent and against Vancouver especially he managed to pull off some unbelievable saves to keep it close.
The shot differential is still a telling statistic so far as well.
Against Vancouver: 35-25 (SO).
Against Calgary: 30-23 (W).
Against Edmonton: 34-24 (SO).
We do seem to be getting a few more goals from them but we are simply still not finding the net with great accuracy.
All in all though I am happy with 4 points from 6 out of this trip and I am pretty confident of the win against Nashville. Another against the Bruins would be fantastic and really give us a springboard to the next 10 or so games but in all honesty, I can’t help but feel that may be a bridge too far at the moment. I’ll settle for 2 out of 4 points from the next two tilts.
LW Steve Ott injured an oblique muscle in the first period against Vancouver and is currently day to day.
RW Jere Lehtinen made his season debut against Vancouver and was good for 11:32 of ice time in which he notched four shots on goal. Toby Petersen was the healthy scratch that made way.
C Mike Modano sat out his third straight game against the Canucks with a rib injury and remains day to day.
Despite a 1-0-3 record so far this season, Dallas have actually outscored their opponents 9-4 when playing at even strength - goes to show how important penalty killing is in the modern game.