Well, the NHL season is a little over a quarter of the way complete. So far, the Stars have been very inconsistent ( except for that nice 6 game winning streak last week ). They started the season very uneven and lost some real heartbreakers. The most brutal of which was the game against the LA Kings where the Stars were leading 4-0 with less than 10 minutes to play and lost 6-5 in overtime.
That loss lead to the firing of General Manager Doug Armstrong and put President Jim Lites elsewhere in the organization. New Co-GMs Brett Hull and Les Jackson and new President Jeff Cogen seem to have at least cleared the air. The Stars have looked better since then, going on the 6 game streak, and playing a little harder. Modano has finally decided to show up for the season and fight through some checks.
The new management has made a couple of nice moves in getting rid of Fedoruk ( someone we should have never signed ) and bringing up some of the kids that we fans have been hearing about forever and yet have never really been given a chance.
Erikson appears to be making something of his time this time since he’s getting top 6 forward minutes and producing a little bit.
Most of the fan angst I’ve read at this point is our need for a scoring winger. While I agree we need a sniper, I think we also need to be on the lookout for a top notch #1 center. Modano is not that #1 guy anymore. His role now needs to become what Joe Nieuwendyk’s was during the cup runs. A great #2 center, that when not facing the other team’s top checking line can do a lot of damage. Modano still has crazy skills, but he needs to go up against the second best defense.
I also don’t think our defense and goaltending has been the best this year. The defense is making a lot more mistakes, and sadly, it’s not the two rookies making the most of them. For some reason, Daley has regressed a great deal from last year. He’s the one playing like a rookie. Marty Turco hasn’t been playing all that well and Mike Smith is giving up juicy rebounds. They need to tighten things up around the net for sure.
I have no idea where this team might end up, but I’m hoping the current 2 game skid is due more to fatigue than anything ( 6 road games in 9 nights is brutal ) and that once they get a chance to catch their breath they’ll get back to some winning streaks.
As for the playoffs, I think we could finally break into the second round again, but it would be short lived. There are just too many great teams in the Western Conference. I’m just hoping the Stars surprise me.