So much for a big set of home games for the Dallas Stars. The Stars go into tonight’s home game against the Buffalo Sabres with a 5-4 record, not what was hoped for when they started this home stretch of games with a 5-1 record. 6 home games in a row, and after 3 games they have gone 0-3. It has been extremely frustrating to watch. I was in the building for Thursday night’s game against the rival Kings, and the Stars looked nothing like the team that started the season. Getting plenty of chances and shots, but failing to finish and pocket goals. Taking shifts off and slight lapses in positioning and play that end up leading to goals in the back of their own net. It was the third game in a row that the Stars had more shots and chances, but ended up with zero points when the night was over.
They need to fix this now! I know it is still early in the season, but their are a couple big reasons why they need to turn it around. First, they are not drawing crowds at the AAC. With the economy still how it is, the Rangers being the talk of the town, and the Mavs and Cowboys in their seasons, the Stars are not getting fans and people out to the games. And losing games at home will not help that at all. Leaving the other night, I was pissed because Dallas controlled that games for a while but just flopped and lost it. If I was feeling that way, imagine how the few fans that showed up felt as well. Second, not picking up points at all for a good stretch of the season this early can hurt you bad. With 6 games at home and being at the top of the division, this should have been a chance to grab points and keep going. Instead they have started to slump down in the standing and at this point the best they could do is 3-3. It also does not help morale and the team attitude to be dropping games consecutively like this at home, when you should be playing better.
The Stars will start Andrew Raycroft for the first time this season. Raycroft won out the backup job during the preseason, but so far the Stars have gone withe Lehtonen every game. Raycroft stepped in during Thursday night’s game, playing 15 minutes in the net after Kari was pulled, and he stopped all 8 shots that he faced. Dallas will need to step it up tonight to help him and have a chance at winning. Not to say that Andrew is less of a goalie then Kari, but….well we know he is. The Sabres of course have elite goalie Ryan Miller, and the Stars will have to work to score tonight. But the Sabres bring in a 3-6-2 record, way under what you would expect from them so far. The Stars will get Stephane Robidas back from suspension, and it will be very welcome. Dallas sent Larsen back down, but I think he should have stayed. But him getting a lot of playing time is helping him, and I bet we will see him so more as the season goes along.
Prediction: Stars get back on track – Stars 3, Sabres 2 (OT/Shootout)