Dallas Stars: Weekly Review October 14-21

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The Stars went through the NHL’s version of “Death Valley” and didn’t fair well coming out the other side.  Going against the California trio is difficult as most teams will find out this season.  Dallas found that out last week.  In the lone home game of the week Thursday night, they picked up a 4-3 shootout win over the San Jose Sharks, it was the only time they tasted victory all week.

The rest of the week included three losses. Tuesday the Stars lost to perhaps the most surprising and impressive team (based on expectations), the Colorado Avalanche 3-2.  Then the reunion against their former Pacific Division rivals began.  A 4-3 shootout win over San Jose Thursday night left fans excited.  The excitement evaporated quickly with two bad losses on the west coast against Los Angeles (5-2 loss) on Saturday and to Anaheim (6-3 loss) Sunday.

Dan EllisIt doesn’t take an NHL expert to realize that the Stars are struggling at goaltender.  With Kari Lehtonen out on injured reserve for a little while, the Stars have turned to Dan Ellis.  Ellis hasn’t been great.  He hasn’t allowed fewer than three goals in any of his four starts.  His save percentage is under ninety percent (89.5%).  That’s not good for a goalie and it won’t help you start many games in the net.

Whether it was just to give him a rest or perhaps head coach Lindy Ruff has seen enough for a little bit, the Stars started Jack Campbell in the net Sunday against Anaheim.  Campbell was recently called up for the Stars’ from AHL affiliate the Texas Stars.  Going against Anaheim is a tough assignment, even for a veteran goaltender, but for a rookie, the task was daunting.  Campbell didn’t fare well, allowing six goals.  Lehtonen can’t come back soon enough.  The Stars need you!

There are some bright spots  so far this season, despite the team’s 3-5 start.  Mainly, it’s the two guys who were brought over in an offseason trade with the Boston Bruins.  Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverly are both playing very well, at least on the offensive side.  Seguin has ten points (4 goals, 6 assists) and Peverly scored his first two goals of the year last week.  For the year he has two goals and two assists.  The Stars will need more of that if they want to compete in the Central Division and for a playoff spot.

Tyler SeguinThe Stars are off until Thursday. When they return to the ice, they will hear the Canadian national anthem enough over the next week that they may memorize the anthem if the sixteen Canadiens on the Stars roster don’t know it already.  Three of their next four games are against Canada teams.  Thursday begins a two game home-stand against Calgary (8:30 PM ET/7:30 PM CT) and versus Winnipeg Saturday (7 PM ET/6 PM CT).  They close out October with two road games at Buffalo on Monday (7 PM ET/6 PM CT) and at Montreal on Tuesday (7:30 PM ET/6:30 PM CT).  Buffalo is one of the worst teams in the NHL so the Stars should have a good shot.  Likewise when the Stars play Calgary and Winnipeg.  These are games the Stars should win.  Easier said than done.

It will certainly be an interesting, but fun and entertaining week.  And how it all plays out this week will truly be written in the stars.

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