Sensational Stars head home after 3 wins in Canada
Things can change in a matter of days in the NHL. Last week, the Dallas Stars were struggling to string wins together and their hopes of the playoffs were slowly fading. The Stars have now won 7 of their last 8 and currently have the third playoff seed in the West.
The Stars' levels of commitment have been questionable over the course of the season, but during this recent stretch of success, I can’t fault the team one bit. They have played for one another, showing the intensity levels of a decent playoff team and getting the results they have truly deserved.
A good run of performances at home gave the Stars some momentum to carry across the border into Canada. All of the Canadian teams have great home support, so taking 2 wins from 3 on the road trip would have been respectable indeed. The Stars went one further though and took 2 points from games against the Oilers, Flames and Canucks.
Rookie goaltender Richard Bachman occupied the crease for the Stars last night and he continued his great first season in the NHL by playing an integral part in the win. He saved 29 of 31 shots and spoke about his performance after the game. He said: “I actually felt some jitters. It was the first NHL game I’ve started in Canada and the atmosphere was amazing. So, starting off with a penalty shot is never what you want to see. Once that was done it helped settle me in and after that first period I really got comfortable.”
It has been an inconsistent so far for Dallas, but I firmly believe that this recent run of good performances has turned the season right around. Playing some sublime hockey, this team can beat anything put in front of them at the moment and that is a crucial ingredient of a decent playoff team.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Stars though as they return to action tomorrow at the American Airlines Center against divisional rivals San Jose Sharks. Dallas sits 3 points ahead of the Sharks but has played 2 games more. It is a critical 4 pointer tomorrow night and could have a big impact upon who tops the Pacific division at the end of the regular season.
The team seems to be a happy group at the moment and they are playing some great hockey together. The encounter with the Sharks should be a good one, with puck drop at 8pm ET.