Looking to Put Something Together
Wednesday, 01.14.2009 / 5:32 PM CT / News
By Dallas Stars Staff
The Stars have been playing better over the last six weeks, going 12-7-2 for 26 points in their last 21 games. The problem – they’ve only moved up a couple of spots in the standings during that time, from 15th to 13th in the West, as of Wednesday morning.
While the team has been playing better, the main culprit of its lack of movement in the standings is the group’s inability to string some wins together, as the Stars still search for their first three-game winning streak of the season.
“We’ve shown that we can be a good team but we need to be more consistent,” said Head Coach Dave Tippett. “We need points, and to get them our best players have to be our best players every night.”
Dallas has improved in most areas of their game – puck-possession, communication, generating shots on net. The Stars showed themselves and their fans how good they can be with their effort against Detroit on Monday night.
“We have been playing better but the bottom line is we have to start turning the effort into wins,” said Tippett. “It’s just that simple.”
The Stars have hit the mid-way mark of the season with an overall record of 18-17-6 for 42 points. They currently sit four points back of the eighth and final playoff spot in the west, fighting it out among nine other teams for position. Just nine points separate fifth place and fourteenth.
The Stars’ recent solid play may not have moved the team much in the standings, but it did put Dallas in a position to make a move if it can keep producing points. Dallas has played less games than any of the other nine clubs it is competing with, with opportunities to take advantage of some games in-hand.
Cue four important games leading up to the All-Star Break. Buffalo comes calling on Thursday night, followed by a day game vs. Los Angeles on Saturday and a quick road trip through Florida against the Lightning and Panthers next week.
Go 3-1-0 in those games and it puts the Stars in good position coming out of the All-Star Break. Go 1-3-0 and it produces another set-back, creating another big challenge.
“Every game is a big game for us and that’s just the way it is,” said Tippett. “If we’re going to take that next step, we need to continue to push and find a way to get some wins.”
The opportunity is there but the Stars need to take advantage and string some wins together. From this point on, the Stars will have more games played than ones left on the schedule. The time to make a move is now.
Did you know?
Defensemen Nicklas Grossman, Stephane Robidas and Trevor Daley each scored a goal for the Stars in their 5-4 overtime win over the Red Wings on Monday night. In the team’s 15 seasons in Dallas, the only other time that three different Stars defensemen scored goals in the same game was on Dec. 5, 1995, when Derian Hatcher, Grant Ledyard and Richard Matvichuk each scored once in a 6-4 loss at Boston.