Written in the Stars


Another week has come and that means it’s time to talk Dallas Stars hockey or should I say the on-fire Dallas Stars, because they certainly have been playing lights out.  I’m surprised the ice isn’t melting when they step out on the ice, that’s how hot they are playing.  They’ve won five in a row, and nine of their last ten. Their only loss over this 10 game span was a 4-3 shootout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, so they’ve gained points in their last ten contests.

Welcome Back Brenden Morrow

Brenden Morrow was triumphant in his return to the ice after missing the last 18 games with injuries.  He scored scored an important goal Saturday in the Stars 2-0 over the Ducks.

The Stars captain missed the last eighteen games with neck and shoulder injuries (it was mainly just stiffness), but he played great against the Anaheim Ducks Saturday night, scoring the all important first goal on a power play in the 2nd period.   He may have only nine goals and fourteen assists this year, but Brenden Morrow is a leader and a captain on this team for a reason.  He does so much more on the ice and on the bench than his stats sometimes indicate.  Now through the final crunch playoff run, the Stars are very happy to have him back.

Week in Review

Tuesday March 6: 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks.  This was a huge win for the Stars to cap off an impressive road sweep of the western conference Canadian teams.  Don’t under estimate just how hard that is to win games on road trips that far from home while enduring the harsh climate in Canada,especially against perhaps the best team in the Western Conference in Vancouver.  Mike Ribiero scored twice in the win.

Thursday March 8: 4-3 shootout win over the San Jose Sharks.  Another big win, this one over a division rival.  Had they lost to the Sharks, there would have been a tie atop the Pacific Division.  But by winning, the Stars gained some valuable breathing room for the division lead.  Tomas Vincour scored in regulation and added a game-winning goal in the fifth round of the shootout.

Saturday March 10: 2-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks.  Already mentioned it was captain Brenden Morrow’s return, and he celebrated by scoring a goal.  Was he nervous?

"“I was a little bit nervous, I didn’t want to screw things up for the team.”"

Well he certainly didn’t hurt the team by scoring a goal.  Playoff teams have to wins their games against the bad teams in their division, and the Stars went out and took care of business.

Shooting Stars

At this point, most of the Stars team is playing well, but here are a couple that have really shined over the last week:

  • LW Jamie Benn: 2 goals, 2 assists, 0 penalty minutes, 10 shots.
  • RW Michael Ryder: 2 goals, 2 assists, 2 penalty minutes, 16 shots.
  • C Mike Ribeiro: 2 goals, 2 assists, 2 penalty minutes, 5 shots.

Also, goalie Kari Lehtonen was brilliant against the Sharks, stopping 45 of 48 shots in the win Thursday night.

The last shooting star  goes to entire penalty killing unit; they stopped all ten power plays that had to defend last week.

Falling Stars

There are always a few things that a team can work on and improve, despite their recent awesome play.  For the Stars, that includes their power play, which was just two for eleven this past week.  While just under twenty percent isn’t terrible, the Stars need to perform better on the power play to be a dangerous team in the playoffs.

And the Stars defense needs to get better; they were outshot 100-87.  They can’t afford to continue to put that much pressure on their goaltender to stop all of those shots.  Still though, we’re really nit-picking here to come up with a few bad things because the Stars really have been playing so well lately.

Compass direction pointing north

With the perfect 3-0 week last week, the Stars gained six points and continue to climb in the Western Conference standings.  They are currently sitting in 3rd place in the conference as the Pacific Division leader with 81 points, three points ahead of the next closest team in their division, the Phoenix Coyotes.  The division leading St. Louis Blues and Vancouver Canucks have more points than the Stars, so it is highly unlikely that the Stars will catch either of them to move further up in the conference standings.

Coming up this week…

Tuesday 3/13…@ Minnesota 8:00 pm ET

Wednesday 3/14…@ Winnipeg 8:30 pm ET

Friday 3/16…VS Chicago 8:30 pm ET

With March Madness about to get started, the Stars will be doing with their own March madness, trying to hold on to their division lead and continuing to be one of the hottest and best teams in the NHL.  As always, the fate of the Dallas Stars is Written in the Stars.