4-28-14: Heartbreak city for the Dallas Stars. Lindy Ruff’s team was less than three minutes away from boarding a plane back to Anaheim for a game 7. Instead, they will be packing their bags and heading away for the summer. Nobody gave the Stars a shot at the onset of this series, but they proved to be thorn in the side of the Ducks. GM Jim Nill has a young squad with a bright future in Dallas. The Stars will be back and will be a force in the year’s to come.
4-21-14: The Dallas Stars are comfortable playing at the American Airlines Center. They finished the season with a 10-2-1 record in their final 13 games at home, helping them end a six-year postseason drought. With games three and four shifting to Dallas, the Stars need to take advantage of their home ice down 0-2 in the series. Head coach Lindy Ruff will get the benefit of last line change, which will provide him more opportunities to get the matchups on the ice that he wants.
4-14-14: It's been an uninspiring stretch for Dallas. With a playoff spot one the line, the Stars managed just one regulation win in its last five games. Few teams can match the duo Dallas has offensively. Jamie Benn finished tied for eighth in NHL scoring with 79 points, while Tyler Seguin finished fourth with 84. Two other teams had a pair of players in the top 10 of NHL scoring. One of them was Anaheim, the team the Stars will face in the first round.
4-7-14: The Stars endured a devastating loss to the lowly Panthers this past Sunday, which leaves them one point ahead of Phoenix for the final wild-card spot in the West. The one thing the Stars have going for them is that three of their final four games will take place at home. If they can make the playoffs, I don’t expect the Stars to be much of a threat for the Blues. They would have exhausted so much effort just to make the dance.
3-31-14: The Stars have won two games in a row but are only 5-4-1 in their last ten games played. Dallas trails the Coyotes by one point with eight games to play. Six of those eight games against quality teams, so it should be an exciting finish. Tyler Seguin currently sits fifth in the NHL in scoring with 76 points. If the Stars were higher in the standings, Seguin may get consideration the Hart Trophy.
3-25-14: The Stars were able to stop the bleeding somewhat of a four game losing streak with a 3-2 win against the Senators this past Saturday. Jamie Benn has been on fire as he has seven goals and 13 points in 11 games this month. Dallas is very much still in the thick of things for wild card spot in the West. They currently sit in ninth place and are only two points behind Phoenix for eighth.
3-17-14: The Rich Peverley incident was one the scariest things I’ve ever seen in professional sports. The question now is how will Dallas respond? Will they band together for a playoff run or just simply fall apart? Since last Monday, the Stars beat St. Louis and lost to Calgary so I guess the jury is still out. Dallas has been playing like a playoff team for weeks and ultimately I think Dallas will keep it together down the stretch.
3-10-14: Dallas is looking more and more like a playoff team every week. Part of that is because the teams behind them like Phoenix can't stop shooting themselves in the foot. As long as they keep winning, they'll find themselves in the playoffs. If Dallas does indeed make the playoffs, Tyler Seguin should be considered for the Hart Trophy. He has eight points in his last two games played. He’s top five in scoring overall and he’s rejuvenated a franchise and fan base.
3-3-14: They earned a 4-1 win against Carolina before losing 4-2 versus the Lightning, both games occurring at home this past week. Dallas currently occupies the final wild-card spot in the West. Regardless of what happens in the final stretch of the season, the Stars performance on the ice has been stellar. Nobody expected them to be in contention for a playoff spot in the West this year. GM Jim Nill’s philosophy of drafting young players and letting them play is paying off.
2-10-14: The Stars went 3-1-0 in their final four games before the Olympic break to put them back into playoff contention. Since losing nine out of 10 games to start January, the Stars are 6-1-2. The slumping Canucks has the Stars in the final wild-card spot in the West, but because the top three teams in the Pacific Division are so dominant, Dallas can only finish as one of the two wild cards in the West.
2-3-14: The Stars' momentum slowed last week, but the team still has an impressive record of late, with points in five of its last six games and most recently a 2-0 shutout victory over the NHL-leading Ducks. It’s a shame the Stars couldn’t have played this well throughout the whole season, because they could have been in a playoff spot. The future is bright in Dallas and many expect this team will make noise in the coming year’s ahead.
1-27-14: The Stars opened January with 1-8-1 record, but have won three straight games against the Wild, Leafs and Penguins by a combined 14-1 total. That’s pretty darn impressive. That brutal 10-game stretch has derailed what was a promising season. The Stars aren't dead just yet, but they have a lot of work to do to crack the top eight in the West. Kari Lehtonen has stopped 76 of 77 shots over his past three starts.
1-20-14: The Stars' one and only win so far in 2014 came over the Oilers. Dallas is now 1-7-1 in January.
This terrible run by the Stars probably seals the team's fate. Dallas now has only 34 games to make up a nine-point gap between it and the postseason. Rookie forward Alex Chiasson is slumping badly. His goal on Saturday averted a 20-game goalless drought and his season has been a tale of two parts. His first nine games he had five goals and four assists for nine points. His last 37 games he has four goals and 11 assists for 15 points.
1-13-14: The Stars ship is sinking and sinking fast. They have lost six straight games, all in regulation, and that may have caused their playoff hopes to fade. Dallas is eight points out of a playoff spot with a couple games in hand, but they are looking less like a playoff team with each passing game. During their six-game slide, the Stars have been outscored 26-10. Stars fans have to be pleased with the play of Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin this season who have combined for 36 goals and 42 assist for 78 points.
1-7-14: The Stars' trend of recent success hit a speed bump this past week. Dallas dropped its last two decisions against Montreal and Detroit. Prior to that, the Stars had gone seven games without a regulation loss Dallas sits two points back of the final postseason berth in the West, but with the Coyotes slumping their chances look better than ever. The Stars could be considered a surprise team in the West.
12-30-13: The Stars are 4-1-1 in their past six games and have been playing well all season. The bad news for them is they play in the Western Conference, where their 19-12-7 mark has them outside of the playoffs. The Stars are on pace to miss the postseason despite finishing with 97 points. That would be the most points for any non-NHL team in the history of the league. That’s life in the Western Conference for you.
12-23-13: Dallas has spent most of the month swapping wins and losses. This week the team continued in that same path with two wins, one regulation loss and one shootout loss. The Stars appear to have settled in as a team at the bottom of a group of 10 vying for eight playoff positions in the West. Sergei Gonchar has recovered a bit after a difficult start. Kari Lehtonen could garner a spot on Team Finland for the Olympics with his play of late.
12-16-13: Dallas continues to hover around .500 mark as they defeated the Winnipeg Jets 6-4 this past Saturday to improve to 3-2-2 in December. Their overall record would be something worthy of playoff contention in any other year, but it has them well outside of the top eight in the West. Dallas is eight points behind the Wild for the final playoff spot and they have four games in hand. Tyler Seguin has been held without a goal in eight of his past 11 games, but he has scored four, three and two goals in the other three games.
12-9-13: The Stars took five out of a possible six points last week. Somehow the Stars pulled of a 4-3 win over Chicago where they were out-shot 50-18 by the Blackhawks. They then dropped a 3-2 overtime game to Toronto but finished the week beating the Flyers 5-1 at home. Rookie Valeri Nichushkin scored twice and added five helpers this past week. He now has 15 points in 27 games on the year. Not too shabby at all.
12-2-13: The Stars took points in all three games they played last week. Only one of those games ended in a Dallas victory, a 6-3 win over Anaheim. The other two games, a shootout loss to an excellent Chicago team and another to an Oilers squad that Dallas thoroughly outplayed, were good results in their own right. 41-year old Ray Whitney is averaging two shots per game but is converting those shots into goals at just a 2.5 percent clip.
11-25-13: You think Tyler Seguin likes playing in Dallas? The young center has 12 goals and 11 assists for 23 points in 24 games played. His line mate Jamie Benn is having an even better year with 24 points in 22 games. The Stars had only two games this week and they dropped both of them to St. Louis and the New York Rangers. Kari Lehtonen’s .924 save percentage and 2.28 GAA are solid. Dallas is still a few year’s away from contending, but the Stars are one team nobody wans to see on their schedule as they play tough hockey night in and night out.
It was a perfect week for the Dallas Stars. Goalie Kari Lehtonen made 42 stops to beat the Canucks and Tyler Seguin posted four goals and one assist in a rout of Calgary. The aforementioned Lehtonen has a 10-3-2 record and a .34 save percentage this season. Those are good numbers for a guy who has yet to show the NHL what kind of talent he really has. GM Jim Nill’s vision for the Stars is bright one indeed.
11-12-13: It’s going to be tough for the Stars to make the playoffs in the ultra competitive Western Conference. However, teams are finding out real quickly that Lindy Ruff’s squad is not the same team that got walked all over last season. Last year, the Stars were 23rd in the NHL in score close Fenwick, which is plus/minus shots and missed shots. This season the Stars are ninth in the NHL. Tyler Seguin is showing why he was the 2nd overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft.
11-5-13: It was a strange week for the Dallas Stars. They played four game overall and each game was decided by a lone goal. They lost in regulation to Montreal and lost in overtime to Colorado. They beat Ottawa in a shootout and defeated Buffalo in regulation. Tyler Seguin over his young NHL career has received his share of criticism and deservingly so. He must play better for Dallas to have a chance to make the playoffs. He went 1-for-14 from the faceoff dot Sunday.
10-29-13: The Stars had a pretty good week going 1-0-1 with a win against Calgary and shootout loss to Winnipeg. In their game against the Flames, Dallas scored three goals in 1:01 of the second period. Their shootout loss to the Jets was not ideal, but they did pick up a point. Remind me once again why the Stars traded James Neal to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Alex Goligoski a few year’s back? That may go down as one of the dumbest trades in league history. Goligoski has zero points on the year and is a minus-10. Ouch!
10-21-13: Dallas has four losses in their last five games. Their lone win was a shootout victory over the mighty San Jose Sharks. You would think after their win against the Sharks they would go on some sort of a winning streak? Well, not exactly. They lost 5-2 to Los Angeles and blew a 3-1 lead versus Anaheim. Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn can’t do it all in the scoring department. The loss of goalie Kari Lehtonen to lower body injury will plague this team for weeks to come.
10-14-13: Tyler Seguin’s four point performance against Winnipeg last Friday was impressive, however losing to Minnesota 5-1 was not. The Stars are getting outshot almost every night. They’re poor in the faceoff dots, and their defense has been shaky at best. There were high expectations for the Stars in Big D this season and so far it’s been somewhat of a disappointment. Starting goalie Kari Lehtonen was injured in Dallas’ 4-1 win Friday against the Jets and rookie Jack Campbell was called up from AHL Texas. Look for Campbell to make an impact.
10-7-13: Another team that’s in a transitional phase this year, the Dallas Stars have looked solid early on. Rookie Alex Chiasson continues to prove why he belongs in the NHL. Going back to last year, Chiasson has scored nine goals in his first eight NHL games. Secondary scoring will be key with this team.
9-4-13: The 2013 season held strains for the veteran laden Dallas Stars. Now, with the addition of Tyler Seguin, one of the oldest teams in the NHL not only gained youth, but star power still ripe with a championship ring. The speed of the Stars increased dramatically with Shawn Horcoff and Rich Peverly. However, the absence of underrated Louie Eriksson will be big shoes to fill, a tall order expected of 24-year old, Jamie Benn. The big “D” has also bolstered defensive firepower in the acquisition of Sergei Gonchar and added relief for expected number one goaltender, Kari Lehtonen, in backup Dan Ellis.
How these pieces will fit have high expectations, and are likely to prove successful. The Central Division is ripe with seasoned contenders (St. Louis Blue, Chicago Blackhawks) , but riddled with enigmas (Winnipeg Jets, Minnesota Wild) waiting to challenge for glory. Dallas may be a team that will be knocking on the door, but a window of opportunity has, since been, wide open with this new look team.
Stars 2013 NHL Draft Summary
Pick #10: Valeri Nichushkin, LW
Pick #29: Jason Dickinson, C
Pick #40: Remi Elie, LW
Pick #54: Philippe Desrosiers, G
Pick #68: Niklas Hansson, D
Pick #101: Nicholas Paul, LW
Pick #131: Cole Ully, LW
Pick #149: Matej Paulovic, LW
Pick #182: Aleksi Makela, D