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Stars Begin Camp With Confidence

Playoff Run and a Strong Chemistry Fuels Early Hope and Expectation

Saturday, 09.20.2008 / 12:48 AM CT / Feature
By Dallas Stars Staff
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Stars Begin Camp With Confidence

The Stars began Training Camp on Friday with physicals, fitness testing and photos, followed by a light practice to get things going on the ice.

The team is coming off a long playoff run that saw the team make the Conference Finals for the first time in eight years. Everyone wants to return and take another shot at Lord Stanley’s Cup, but there’s a long way to go to April.

2008 Stars Training Camp Photo Gallery
“Just because you did well the year before doesn’t mean that you will keep your spot,” said Stars Head Coach Dave Tippett. “The Western Conference is a tough conference there are a lot of good teams out there. Our first step will be to get our team ready at training camp and go into the regular season and earn the right to be a good team. You have to do a lot of work the entire year. That’s the process you have to go through and it’s the same every year. Our young players were able to do what they did last year by taking up new leadership roles and we were able to get to the point we did last year and they are hungry to take us farther. But we also recognize what it took to get there. It’s about going out every night and earning the right to be a successful team.”

Still, the confidence gained from last year’s playoff experience is there and it reminded some of the veterans how great a long run can be.

“It brought back some great memories,” said Mike Modano, who remembers what it was like back in 1998-99 coming off a Conference Finals appearance. “You live for that time of the year and you live for those type of playoff runs and to see the reaction from the fans and the city. You can tell (the fans) really miss playoff hockey as well. It was fun to relive some of those glory days when we had those runs and when we had those runs. It’s making it exciting to play the game and it’s basically why we do what we do.”

The level of excitement to get back to work was evident on the first day of camp, especially from the younger players. Nicklas Grossman, Matt Niskanen and Mark Fistric all had a look in their eye of anticipation and determination. Veterans like Mike Ribeiro, Brenden Morrow and Stephane Robidas looked focused and ready to go.

“There is a sense of excitement to get back and play when you feel like you have turned that corner with the organization,” said Modano. “The new guys are here and are able to get a camp under their belt. Everyone seems ready to go but it is a long way away to get to where we were last year.”

One player who will probably benefit the most from this year’s camp is Brad Richards. Acquired in late February, Richards had to adjust to a new city, a new team and a new system. He did so very well, but he enters the 2008-09 season with a fresh slate and a relaxed state of mind.

“It feels great. My comfort level is through the roof,” he said. “Last year I got comfortable with my teammates, how the team does things and how the organization does things. I am more excited than I have been for a while. We have a great group here and I believe we can go far.”

Richards also knows a few things about winning a Stanley Cup and what kind of teams can go all the way. He likes what he sees in this year’s Dallas Stars.

“The playoffs last year brought a lot of confidence in the locker room,” Richards said. “We still have that taste of success that we had last year in the playoffs. We have set ourselves up for a good season this year but we realize that we have to take care of a lot of things first. We put our work in now and we can repeat that success.”

Marty Turco is also a believer in this squad. He could taste the opportunity to play for the Stanley Cup last spring and he wants it back. Turco makes no mistake about what the goal is for the Stars this season.

“I believe we had what it takes last year,” he said. “We got through two hard series in the first two rounds. We battled hard through the end. We could have won last year, without a doubt, and it is our focus this year.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 57 36 17 4 158 130 76
2 DAL 54 34 15 5 174 145 73
3 STL 56 30 17 9 133 130 69
4 LAK 52 32 17 3 144 119 67
5 SJS 52 28 20 4 149 138 60
6 ANA 52 26 19 7 117 122 59
7 NSH 54 25 21 8 139 144 58
8 COL 56 27 25 4 149 155 58
9 MIN 53 23 20 10 130 130 56
10 VAN 54 22 20 12 125 144 56
11 ARI 53 24 23 6 139 163 54
12 CGY 52 24 25 3 138 151 51
13 WPG 53 24 26 3 137 151 51
14 EDM 55 21 29 5 133 166 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 54 28 33 16 61
T. Seguin 54 28 30 11 58
J. Klingberg 54 9 35 15 44
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
P. Sharp 54 16 24 -1 40
A. Goligoski 54 4 20 17 24
C. Eakin 54 10 13 1 23
M. Janmark 54 10 10 13 20
J. Demers 48 7 12 16 19
V. Nichushkin 51 6 13 7 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 14 5 0 .909 2.82
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