Dallas Stars: The Beat Goes On


After winning three of four on the road, the Dallas Stars continued their winning ways and kept themselves perched atop the NHL’s Western Conference.

What a difference a year makes. At this juncture of the season last year, the Dallas Stars were already finding maddening and frustrating ways to cough up leads and/or lose in overtime. Now? They’re finding new and interesting ways to win as they continue their blistering pace in the early stages of this campaign.

The road trip started off on a sour note against the Toronto Maple Leafs on November 2nd. The Stars peppered Leafs’ goalie James Reimer with 44 shots, but ultimately fell short, 4-1, in a game in which they probably deserved a better fate. For whatever reason, the Maple Leafs seem to have the Stars’ number in recent contests, and last Monday’s game was no exception.

What proved crucial, though, in displaying why this year’s Stars squad is light years beyond last season’s bunch, is the way they bounced back the next night against the Boston Bruins.

It would’ve been easy to expect a lull after losing in such disheartening fashion the night before. But save for a brief 2-1 deficit in the early stages of the 2nd period, the team stormed back to win 5-3 on the strength of centerman Tyler Seguin’s sixth hat trick as a member of the Stars’ franchise.

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And while Bruins’ fans greeted Seguin with a lusty chorus of boos whenever he touched the puck, they have to be wondering why the Boston brass found it fit to trade the young dynamo away as he was on the cusp of the prime of his career. Stars’ fans, on the other hand, are pretty pleased with the transaction, as he and left wing linemate, Jamie Benn, continue to torch the league as the NHL’s most lethal scoring duo.

Seguin even managed to make a young fan’s sixteenth birthday a night to remember when he tossed her a puck during pregame warm ups.

Even classier, he met up with her in the tunnel after the game to sign the puck and take a photo.

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Three nights later on November 6th, the Stars thoroughly dominated the first period against the Carolina Hurricanes only to have nothing to show for it. Again, they fell behind in the early stages of the 2nd period on a tally from Hurricanes’ center, Jordan Staal. It proved to be little more than a speed bump, however, as the Stars replied with four unanswered goals en route to a 4-1 throttling of the Hurricanes.

The good times rolled on during Sunday’s tilt versus the Detroit Red Wings. Two 1st period goals staked the Stars to a 2-0 lead, but the Red Wings managed to notch a power play goal late in the period to draw within one. The score would remain that way in a game that became increasingly taut and chippy as the end of regulation drew near.

But in stark contrast to last season’s inability to close games out, the Stars didn’t panic, and even found the moxie to pot two empty net goals to quell any notion of a Red Wings’ rally. The 4-1 final may look like a blowout, but the truth of the matter is the game could have gone either way. A bounce here or a bounce there would have bookended this road trip with a bitter taste.

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Nevertheless, as the wins keep piling up, the Dallas Stars are showing us exactly what they’re made of. Bushels of goals, a vastly improved defense, and better goaltending–especially away from home–have enabled them to vault to not only the top spot in their own division, but to the top of the NHL’s Western Conference.