Dallas Stars

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Wings make history in near-perfect fashion

The Red Wings can downplay it all they want, but last night was one for the ages.

The Wings did, what nobody has been able to accomplish in NHL, win 21 consecutive games on home ice.

"We're thrilled this has happened for our team," coach Mike Babcock said. "I think it's really good for our logo, it's really good for our ownership, our team. I'm proud of the guys. They've worked hard and now let's get on with it."

What originally seemed to look like a potentially close match up, was handled with a bit of dominance on the part of the Wings. The first stat to look at is the penalties, where the Wings only had three of ten total in...

Deadline Reality Check: Defensemen

Like every other fan, I'll throw out a crazy trade possibility or nine this time of year. As hockey fans, it's typical to lose rationality in the month leading up to deadline day, an unofficial holiday in my book. 

As Red Wings fans, this tendency is even stronger due to past deadline deals that brought Hall of Famers such as Chelios to Hockeytown. The salary cap era has stifled Ken Holland's freewheeling deals but with the Wings sitting atop the standings with over $5 million in cap space, many think a big splash is coming.

I think the Wings are going to make a lot of noise... in the summer, especially if Lidstrom and Holmstrom retire an...

Selling Stars?

About two weeks remain until General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk has to come up with a plan. Are the Stars sellers, or are they buyers at the trade deadline? Several trade chips are on the table that teams could covet, such as Sheldon Souray, Nicklas Grossman, and even captain Brenden Morrow.

That last possibility is a rather interesting piece of information to digest, but no team is safe from trading their captain. Look no further than this summer when Flyers' captain Mike Richards was traded away to La-La Land. The Stars could get a good return on Morrow, but is it worth it? Additionally, Morrow has a no-trade-clause. A trade would hinge on him w...

Crucial game for the Stars in Columbus

The Stars take on a struggling Columbus Blue Jackets side at the Nationwide Arena tonight. The Jackets' season is practically over as they currently sit rock bottom of the NHL with just 36 points from 53 games. In contrast, the Stars season is still very much alive, as they continue to fight to break into the top eight in the Western Conference, currently sitting 2 points behind eighth.

Dallas comes into tonight’s game after suffering a disappointing 4-1 loss to divisional rivals Phoenix in Texas on Tuesday. Despite having more shots in the game, they lacked the cutting edge and didn’t finish off the few chances that they created. Dallas have constantly relied on Kar...

Stars show sublime offense in Anaheim

With Jamie Benn being the lone representative of the Stars at the all-star game in Ottawa, the rest of the team enjoyed a much-needed break. The week off allowed the Stars to shake off all of the injuries that they had, meaning they went into the game against their divisional rivals with a full strength team.

The Ducks produced a convincing 4-1 victory over the Coyotes on Tuesday night as they looked to continue their great form of late by beating a fresh Stars team. The first few minutes of the game turned out to be all about the Stars, as some awesome puck movement allowed some great chances at goal, with Benn coming agonisingly close a few minutes in.

However, against the r...

The Neal Deal: Revisited

My first blog here at The Checking Line posed the question: was the deal that sent James Neal and Matt Niskanen to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Alex Goligoski worth it? At the time, I said yes—on the condition that Alex Goligoski's performance stayed on par or better with his performance in Pittsburgh, and that Neal and Niskanen stayed at par in Pittsburgh. 

Too bad neither of those happened. 

In any case, Goligoski got the approval of the Stars' management, signing a four year, US$18.4 million contract. This move was more than essential, because if that didn't happen, and Goligoski walked on the Stars...let's just say "disaster&...

Struggling Stars Can't Win

The streak has hit five. Ever since the Stars lost Jamie Benn and Mike Ribeiro at the same time to injury, the Dallas Stars have not won. Benn was placed on Injured Reserve retroactive to January 14, and recalled Matt Fraser from the AHL. Fresh out of juniors, this player may be someone the Stars actually count on for offense. 

In the span of a week, the Stars have fallen from 8th to 11th in the Western Conference. Amazingly, they sit only four points out of 8th place Colorado with two games in hand.

The problem is several-fold. They can't score without key contributors, they lack focus defensively at critical junctures. Look no fur...

Stars struck by Lightning in Texas

The Tampa Bay Lightning were looking to snap a 6 game losing streak on the road as they travelled to the American Airlines Center to take on the Stars. The tough times continued for the Stars as they were without their top 2 centreman in Jamie Benn and Mike Ribeiro. Drifting in and out of the playoff spots everyday, the Stars would have been aiming for 2 points going into the game as they were taking on a struggling Lightning side.

The game lacked any sort of flow early on, but Sheldon Souray woke the crowd up with a shot that rattled the iron behind Mathieu Garon in the Lightning net. The first period turned out to be all about Kari Lehtonen, the Stars goaltender, as he produced a ...

A Team Desperate To Shine

The Detroit Red Wings made history last night as they set a new franchise record for consecutive home wins, which is very telling about their performance this season. 

In a dominating display of both offense and defense, the Wings have extended their win streak at the Joe to 15 games. Jimmy Howard earned his fifth shut out of the season and Pavel Datsyuk earned his 700th career point. Last night's victory does not reflect the team's lackluster road performance though. 

"We haven't done as well as want on the road," said Jimmy Howard after last night's win against Buffalo. 

The Wings are only 11-13-0 on the road this season, which ...

Rough Seas Ahead

As if the Dallas Stars couldn't have any worse luck this season, they were hit with two more pieces of bad news. Forward Jamie Benn underwent an emergency appendectomy and is expected to be out for 10 days to two weeks, and forward Mike Ribeiro was placed on Injured Reserve retroactive to January 7, when he suffered a lower body injury against the Edmonton Oilers.

Benn, the team's leading scorer and only all-star representative, is a huge blow—no doubt about it. Benn has shown flashes of becoming an elite player in this league this season. The Stars' best playmaker, Ribeiro, has no timetable to return from this mystery injury, an...