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Taking Positives Into 2009

Tuesday, 12.30.2008 / 5:28 PM / Feature
By Erin Chenderlin
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Taking Positives Into 2009

With 2008 quickly coming to an end and 2009 fast approaching in the rearview mirror, the Dallas Stars have many good things to take out of the past few weeks and bring with them into the New Year. After combining for just eight wins in October and November, the team has gone 7-4-1 in December and will close out the month with a New Year’s Eve showdown against the New Jersey Devils.

While December has shown marked improvement since the start of the season, the Stars have excelled even more in the past few weeks, putting together a 4-1-1 record in their last six games, with the sole loss coming at the hands of the NHL’s best San Jose Sharks. Even that game, a 3-1 loss at home on Monday, had many positives to take out of it.

“It was one of those games that we have to realize we played well," Turco said afterward. "You’re not going to win every game, even when you do things well. We stayed in it the whole game and that was a great sign for our team. It's just really unfortunate we couldn't collect any points.”

And points are the name of the game for the Stars right now. Sitting 14th in the Western Conference with 35 points, Dallas is actually just four points out of a playoff berth. The seventh- and eighth-seeded teams, Colorado and Phoenix, currently have 39 points.

“The points are so big right now, so we’ve got to do everything we can to win hockey games,” James Neal said. “The team’s been winning and guys have been stepping up and playing well. It’s such a tight race right now, so points are huge.”

Stephane Robidas echoed Neal’s statement, saying that every game against an opponent ahead of the Stars in the standings is, in essence, a four-point game – a chance to gain two points for your team and take away two possible points from a team ahead of you in the standings.

“We need to look at the big picture, but we’ve got to focus on one game at a time, like Wednesday night’s game,” he said. “All those points are really valuable to us.”

Wednesday night’s match-up against the Devils is sure to be a good one. The Stars have licked their wounds from the 5-0 beating they took at the hands of New Jersey on Oct. 22 at the Prudential Center and are ready to even the score. The Devils are also without their shutdown netminder, Martin Brodeur, out three to four months with a bicep injury.

This is also the Stars’ 11th consecutive season hosting a game on New Year’s Eve, and the previous 10 have been sellouts. The crowd will surely factor in to the equation as the Stars look to come out with everything they have to end 2008 on a high note.

“Going into New Jersey earlier in the season, they beat us up pretty good,” Neal said.

“We could use some revenge here, and we’re at home, so hopefully it’ll be a different game and a different outcome. We’ve got to be consistent here and win some hockey games.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NSH 63 41 15 7 191 151 89
2 ANA 63 39 17 7 186 176 85
3 STL 62 40 18 4 192 153 84
4 CHI 63 37 21 5 183 150 79
5 WPG 63 31 20 12 174 170 74
6 VAN 61 35 23 3 174 162 73
7 MIN 62 33 22 7 176 161 73
8 LAK 61 29 20 12 164 157 70
9 CGY 62 33 25 4 175 160 70
10 SJS 63 30 25 8 175 181 68
11 COL 63 27 25 11 167 182 65
12 DAL 62 27 25 10 195 207 64
13 ARI 63 20 36 7 138 214 47
14 EDM 63 18 35 10 143 208 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 62 23 37 -1 60
T. Seguin 55 29 30 0 59
J. Spezza 62 15 37 -3 52
E. Cole 57 18 15 4 33
T. Daley 59 16 16 -9 32
J. Klingberg 48 10 22 2 32
C. Eakin 59 14 14 -2 28
A. Hemsky 56 9 17 -7 26
A. Goligoski 62 2 24 2 26
A. Roussel 60 12 11 -11 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 25 13 10 .905 2.97
J. Enroth 13 24 2 .900 3.31
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