Regeneration

Saturday, 04.07.2012 / 1:08 PM

Pull the sheet over. The viewing is Saturday.

And with that we prep for the impending autopsy during which we should quickly cut away the decay and rot that was too much for the body of work to fend off, and instead focus on the parts that can be harvested for future implementation.

1) Benn

23 and getting better every year. All-Star. Accuracy winner at ASG. Should (needs) to take a more prominent role on Special Teams.

2) Eriksson

That should about do it for the "Most Underrated Player" patronizing

3) Lehtonen

THE reason they remained in the hunt. His fault is one I can live with; for a second straight season he tried too hard in stretch games, wanting so badly to get this team into the playoffs he appeared over-eager and surrendered too many goals. The team had two runs and during them he was twice Player of the Week and was named the league's 2nd Star in October

4) Ryder

His presence was like adding a 35-40 goal scorer out of thin air. Poof! Presto! Shazam! And, when he shot the puck, Ka-Pow!

5) Fiddler

Character, spirit and determination. He was one of the few players who was consistently good in the disastrous 2nd games of back to backs.

6) Gulutzan

A full year behind an NHL bench behind him with all the lessons learned, the successes and the failures, will mean a much better coach in October 2012.

7) Larsen

The pixieish Dane made major strides. He"ll never be confused with Derian Hatcher (or Sergei Zubov for that matter) but he seemed to learn a few hard knocks lessons - most importantly, if something isn't severed, get up.

8) Garbutt

Swift, physical and competitive, he came out of nowhere to earn a spot on the roster.

9) PK

It faltered a little in the final weeks but it was better than average. Something to build on.

These aren't at all the only positives from the season (Nystrom, overtime success, Souray...etc.), just the first nine that popped into my head.

Want a little levity? Look at it this way; the Sabres solved their ownership issues last year, spent a wack of money on players in the summer, have the most senior coach in the league - and still missed the playoffs.

Tom Gaglardi took control of the franchise midstream this season. His first order of business was just that, business. He lowered ticket prices to get fans more easily exposed to the team and has hired extremely well atop the structure of the franchise off the ice. The results have been easy to see. Stars games at AAC have come out of their dormant state.

Next up would be making prudent improvements on the ice but with the cautionary quotation "Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt" written in bold print.

To that end, I read someone rip the Sabres brass for their moves. It went something like, "next time spend elite-level money on elite-level players". Ouch. (Have to applaud them for trying though)

So avoiding that trap and trusting that management here can do as well with an expanded wallet as they did this past summer on a shoe-string will surely see a jump to the next level in Big D.

Remember also, external expectations of this team were minimal at the outset of the season. Bankrupt, inexperienced, and hovering just above the salary cap floor doesn't instill a lot of belief.

Ultimately they fell just shy of an unlikely playoff birth. And in the end - despite two wonderful, belief-inducing runs - they were no better than a .500 team, just average.

Sure another non-playoff year stings. It stalls the rejuvenation of this proud club, and it robs us of beard growing season. (Fact: men's beards grow faster in the Spring)

Good times are on the horizon for the Dallas Stars - I believe that with every fibre of my being. But it's going to take patience and smarts and sweat, and yes, money.

There is a promising crop of prospects coming into the organization out of Junior and US college ranks. Their development is going to be crucial to the big club's success in the coming years.

Austin has to become a prime incubator.

Dallas has to again become; a prime landing spot for quality free agents, an uncomfortable place for opponents to play and blast for fans to ' be a part of'.

This franchise got ground to a pulp the past three years. It will likely take that long for it to re-establish itself as the jewel it once was. I know we all want it to get there yesterday but it never works that way.

Oh it's going to get there, trust me, and it's so going to be worth all of our emotional and financial investment.

As for 2011-12...Cue 'Dust in the Wind'

"You're my boy Lou!"

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
T. Seguin 80 37 47 16 84
J. Benn 81 34 45 21 79
A. Goligoski 81 6 36 9 42
C. Eakin 81 16 19 -9 35
A. Chiasson 79 13 22 -21 35
V. Nichushkin 79 14 20 20 34
R. Garbutt 75 17 15 10 32
R. Whitney 69 9 23 -6 32
R. Peverley 62 7 23 -3 30
E. Cole 75 16 13 -17 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 33 20 10 .919 2.41
T. Thomas 18 24 4 .908 2.88
 
 
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