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Stars Coach Looking for Strong Start

Thursday, 10.9.2008 / 8:20 PM CT / Feature
By Dallas Stars Staff
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Stars Coach Looking for Strong Start

Despite his team opening the 2008-09 season with back-to-back games, Dallas Stars Head Coach Dave Tippett is not worried. The Stars open the season at home Friday night against Columbus and will jump on the team plane directly following the game and head to Nashville to face the Predators on Saturday.

One reason Tippett isn’t worried about Saturday’s game is because it will be the second in a back-to-back series for Nashville as well, as they play in St. Louis on Friday.

“We actually have a lot of back-to-back games this month,” Tippett said. “But it’s good. It will get us playing.”

This series is one of four sets of back-to-back games for the Stars in October, and all of them have at least one game on the road. Throughout the season, Dallas will play 15 sets of back-to-back games, with only one having both games at home (Feb. 28 vs. Anaheim and March 1 vs. Pittsburgh).

With the season opener less than 48 hours away, Tippett used Thursday morning’s practice to get a good look at his team, whittled down from 48 players at the beginning of training camp to a set roster of 24. He has a lineup ready for Opening Night and said he has no plans of altering it for Saturday’s game.

“We have two games in two days and we will prepare for them just like we normally do, and we’ll be ready,” he said. “Once you get past the first game, you focus on the next. There are no plans to adjust lineups.”

The lineup on the ice Friday will no doubt have a tough road ahead of them this season. Picked by many to win the Pacific Division and even by some to win the Stanley Cup, the Stars have definitely found themselves on people’s radar screens. Tippett said he does not expect that to change anything around the team or the organization.

“Last year we were not picked to do anything,” he said. “We thought we were a good team and just because people are picking us this year does not change anything. We still need to play the games.”

Tippett said the team has a lot to focus on besides the hardware it hopes to bring home at the end of the season. At the top of the list is getting the younger players up to speed and getting the team to play as a unit. Tippett also said he wants to create a strong identity within the team and the locker room and, above all, win hockey games.

“It does not matter if you are picked to win or lose,” he said. “Every day you go out to play hockey games.”

This year marks a bit of history for the Stars organization, as it was 10 years ago that the Stars took home Lord Stanley’s Cup. There is no doubt that fans, management and players alike are all looking for a bit of history repeated.

“This organization has always had high expectations, and I hope that never changes,” Tippett said. “That pushes people – when you have a tradition of winning a Stanley Cup and always making the playoffs.

“Those are prerequisites of what we are trying to do.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 56 36 16 4 158 128 76
2 DAL 53 33 15 5 170 142 71
3 STL 55 30 17 8 132 129 68
4 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
5 SJS 51 27 20 4 147 138 58
6 NSH 53 25 20 8 136 139 58
7 COL 55 27 24 4 148 152 58
8 ANA 51 25 19 7 113 121 57
9 MIN 52 23 20 9 127 126 55
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 52 20 20 12 120 142 52
12 CGY 51 23 25 3 134 148 49
13 WPG 52 23 26 3 136 150 49
14 EDM 54 21 28 5 132 164 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 53 28 31 15 59
T. Seguin 53 28 28 10 56
J. Klingberg 53 8 35 14 43
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
P. Sharp 53 16 24 -1 40
C. Eakin 53 10 13 1 23
A. Goligoski 53 3 20 17 23
M. Janmark 53 10 9 13 19
A. Roussel 51 8 10 5 18
V. Nichushkin 50 6 12 7 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 13 5 0 .907 2.82
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