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Features

They are Who We Thought They Were

Dallas Playing Better Hockey but the Battle has Just Begun

Wednesday, 01.28.2009 / 4:36 PM / Feature
By Seamus O'Callahan  - Hockey Historian
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They are Who We Thought They Were

Take a gander at the standings lately? It’s getting interesting and should stay that way the rest of the season.

The Stars are in the middle of a nine-team pack currently ranked between 5th place and 13th that are separated by only eight points. Dallas sits in the 11th spot at the moment, just two points shy of eighth and a mere four points out of fifth.

Dallas has the fifth-highest points percentage in the West since Nov. 30, going 14-7-3 for 31 points in that time. It has been the key to getting the team back in the playoff picture. They have slowly climbed from 15th to 11th place.

The rundown of the best points percentage in the West since Nov. 30:

Team Record Since Nov. 30 Points Percentage
San Jose 15-3-4, 34 pts. .773
Detroit 16-5-3, 35 pts. .729
Calgary 14-5-3, 31 pts. .704
Chicago 15-6-2, 32 pts. .697
Dallas 14-7-3, 31 pts. .646
Phoenix 14-9-3, 31 pts. .596
Edmonton 14-10-1, 29 pts. .580
Columbus 13-10-2, 28 pts. .560


But the work has only begun. The playoffs have actually started for the Stars, as points are at a premium for every team that is bunched in this mess. Lose three in a row and a team finds themselves fading fast. Put a little winning streak together and all of a sudden you’re breathing down Chicago’s neck in the four-spot.


A Rooting Interest

If you’re a Stars fan, you should also be big fans of the Sharks, Red Wings, Flames and Blackhawks the rest of the way (in games not playing against Dallas). In particular, root for these teams to win in regulation.

The way I see it, these four teams are going to have home ice in the first round of the playoffs and it should not hurt the Stars one bit if they continue their success for the rest of the regular season. Dallas needs these teams to keep valuable points away from the Coyotes, Ducks, Wild, Oilers, Blue Jackets, Canucks, Avalanche and Kings.

May I add that I believe we should all be rooting for Nashville and St. Louis in the same fashion, but I am also aware of how close they loom just behind this pack of nine teams. Be careful what you wish (or root) for.


Heads-Up

The head-to-head battles will also go a long way in deciding who will make the post-season as well. For instance, if you had to pick one game that the Stars win on this trip through Detroit and Columbus, pick the Blue Jackets game. Again – keep points away from these teams.

Dallas’ remaining head-to-heads that loom large:

Anaheim: Three games, two on the road (including the last game of the year)
Colorado: Two in Denver
Columbus: Two in Ohio
Los Angeles: Three games (two in LA)
Minnesota: Two games (home and home)
Phoenix: Two games (home and home)
Vancouver: Three games (two in Dallas)

Dallas plays seven of its last 10 games against this group.

The Stars’ last road trip of the season is at Minnesota, Colorado and Anaheim. Think that might be a big one?


February is Big

All of the games are important the rest of the way but the Stars have a nice opportunity in February, playing 10 of its 13 games for the month at American Airlines Center. If the Stars can continue to rack up points, it will place them in a nice position for the stretch run.

Dallas hosts Calgary, the NY Rangers and Nashville next week. Fans, your team needs you and now is the time.

Besides, who wants to watch the Pro Bowl??


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NSH 62 41 14 7 188 147 89
2 ANA 63 39 17 7 186 176 85
3 STL 61 39 18 4 190 152 82
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 61 32 22 7 173 160 71
8 LAK 61 29 20 12 164 157 70
9 CGY 62 33 25 4 175 160 70
10 SJS 62 30 24 8 173 177 68
11 COL 62 27 24 11 166 179 65
12 DAL 62 27 25 10 195 207 64
13 ARI 62 20 35 7 137 210 47
14 EDM 62 18 34 10 142 206 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
#LONESTARSSTATE GAMEDAY FAN

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