Stars Roll On After Successful Home Stand


An abundance of goals and third period comebacks allowed the Dallas Stars to overcome shaky defense and goaltending during their four game home stand.

By any measurable metric, the Dallas Stars enjoyed a successful week in the friendly confines of American Airlines Center. After a 6-2 drubbing at the hands of the Florida Panthers on October 24th, they rattled off three consecutive wins and pushed their record to a sparkling 9-2-0 overall mark.

Winning is the bottom line, of course, and the Stars have done a lot of that as the first month of the season unfolded. By taking 18 of the possible 22 points October had to offer, they’ve set themselves up well, and look to be a prime contender in the NHL Central Division, which is largely considered to be the best in the entire league.

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Left wing Jamie Benn and centerman Tyler Seguin are the top two point-scorers in the National Hockey League, and they look poised to lead the Stars to a berth in the Stanley Cup tournament. Individually, Benn is displaying everything an organization could want from their captain. Seguin hasn’t racked up the goal numbers of his line mate, but he’s been superb in setting the table and is tied for the league lead with 11 assists.

Together, they’ve combined to make up one of the most potent scoring duos in the entire league. Barring long term injury, the sky’s the limit for them this year and beyond.

In the midst of the great start, however, there are some lingering inconsistencies. Even though they’ve won three in a row, a troubling trend developed that invoked the struggles they endured last year.

In what could only be described as a hangover after the loss to the Panthers, a disastrous first period on October 27th found the Stars trailing the Anaheim Ducks, 3-0. Massive credit must be given, though, as the team shook the cobwebs loose and stormed back to claim a 4-3 win.

The Stars followed up on October 29th by falling behind the Vancouver Canucks, 3-1, only to again charge back and tie the game late in regulation. A thrilling 3-on-3 overtime period ended on a slick wrist shot by Benn to preserve the 4-3 victory.

Finally, in the matinee on Saturday against the San Jose Sharks, they had difficulty holding onto two separate leads before pulling away in the third period for a 5-3 win. Defending Big D’s Robert Tiffin provided a good write up on how the Stars managed to overcome early miscues to defeat a determined Sharks squad.

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While offensive firepower was consistent in all three wins, the other constant was shaky play on the defensive end. To be fair, soft opposition goals weren’t the issue. Stars’ goaltenders Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen did what they could, but it’s hard for them to put their best efforts forward when their defense leaves them hanging out to dry.

Mike Heika from the Dallas Morning News explains here that despite the Stars’ blistering start, there is plenty room for improvement. Their shortcomings have thus far been overshadowed by some truly amazing offensive production up and down their lineup. And even though they’ve had a recent habit of falling behind early in games, they’re tightening up in the third period and sealing the deal. As it is often said, it’s not how you start, but how you finish that matters most. In this regard, the Stars are coming up aces.

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Only time will tell if their defensive play catches up to their offensive output. If all parts of the equation even out, this team may have a deep playoff run in them. In the meantime, the Stars continue to light lamps and frustrate opponents across the league.