Then and Now for the Dallas Stars

Grab a large scientific telescope and take a look at the Stars. The Scoring

Since the beginning of the season it was more like when did score, but now
it is significantly better. For Modano, it took him 5 games to score his
first goal, now he has 22, including his 400th career goal. Nieuwendyk is
has 17 goals, including the gwg for the past 2 games. He helps with the
scoring greatly by winning the vast majority of the faceoffs that he takes.
In the games vs. Thrashers, he won 7 in a row before he lost one. The games
following, he continued to dominate there, and thus gave the Stars plenty of
offensive chances. Pierre Turgeon has had a rough start and still not having
the same offensive year that he had in St. Louis. But the team isn’t
complaining because he is playing better defensively. He has been a
permanent fixture on the power play, and when they can set him up to go
behind the net, he has made several scoring oppritunities and some of those
have turned into goals. When it comes to the defensemen, scoring is not
happening, their shot are going through, but not it. The leading scorer
among defensemen is Sergei Zubov with 4, the rest have 1 or none. Darryl
Sydor still searches for his elusive first goal, despite several chances on
open nets and open lanes. Overall the lines are working now, and all go out
and create scoring chances and play good defense.

The Power Play

It was close to pathetic, but now it has humming right along at 6th place in
the NHL. When they can enter the zone and set up plays without having them
broken up, great things happen. If not, it’s easy to kill it off, even a
blind man could do it.

Penalty Kill

It has lagged off since being perfect at the beginning of the season, but
currently sit 12th . But since both Derian Hatcher and Richard Matvichuck
have had beautiful turnarounds, the pk is excellent with them on it, and
your chances of scoring it are not too good.

The Defense

Think of every word to describe bad, and that would be the equivalent to the
stars defense. Since Mid-November, it has been steller. Occansionaly they
make a mistake or 2, which more times than not, ends in a goal for the other
team. But those have been slowly becoming a rarity now. I’m not complaining
now. They have gone back to their style of hockey, listened to Hitchcock,

The Goaltending

Marty Turco- he has been playing great, not only against the less than .500
teams, but against the top teams ( the 5-0 win vs. Edmonton) He knows that
he won’t be the starter this, and he is fine with that, but with Belfour
still the starter is does make it hard. So far he does own a 7 game winning
streak, and each game he has allowed 2 goals or less. Eddie Belfour- His
numbers may say one thing, but he is getting much better. He does deserve to
be at the Olympics, he may not be the number 1 goalie there, but he plays
great in pressure situations and is a great goalie. One thing that has
helped him immensely is the defensemen not getting in his way and deflecting
the puck behind him anymore.

Other Problems and Blessings

Breakaways- since the beginning of the season, this is the only think still
plaguing them. They give up too many of these, and they don’t get many of
them in return. But there was Mike Modano’s short-handed goal that came on a
5-3 pk.

The power play at home- it’s wonderful on the road. But at home it has been
bad. It is getting better, they have scored a pp goal in each of the past
several games.

The Mid-November trades- Getting rid of Donald Audette, did more good for us
than him. Only a handful of games when he arrived in Montreal, he gets an
season ending injury. The reason why he was traded, he refused to go with
Hitch’s system and his arrogance did him in for once. Shaun Van Allen- tough
guy, just needed another team to find greater success. Jyrki Lumme- getting
rid of him was possibly the best move that Bob Gainey did for the stars this
season. His constant mistakes and miscues during games were enormous, his
sloppy play was annoying and at the time made Derian look like a god. Have
fun with him Toronto! Martin Rucinsky- fits right in with the system an
dnormally plays on the line with Modano and Lehtinen. Beniot Brunet- he’s
playing well, but he along with other players, are in a tight battle for
getting a permanent spot on the team. Dave Manson- he was gladly welcomed
back, not only by the team, but the players, to Dallas. He plays well with
Lukowich and rookie John Erskine. Eventhough he has no goals, his great
defensive play is exactly what the Stars needed.

The Call Ups- Bringing up John Erskine added a lot of punch and energy to
their lineup. He added a lot of the physical presence that they had lacked
earlier. He plays like Parker from Colorado. Steve Gainey- feisty little
guy, who plays like his father. In the near future, he will be very
dangerous. Jon Sim- Hr is not new to this going up to Dallas, back to Utah
business. This could be the year where he stays up for the rest of the year
if he continues to play well.

A Stars Fan

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