Time for the Stars to take this show back out on the road. After getting 5-of-6 possible points in their three games at home, the Dallas Stars now are in Canada for a couple of games. Tonight they make a rare visit to play the Toronto Maple Leafs. The once proud and historic franchise now just has a history, and has had a rough stretch for a few years now. The Leafs started the year 4-0 just like the Stars, but have since only gone 3-9-3. Yikes. That could be good for Dallas though. The Stars looked awful early in their last game against the Colorado Avs but stepped it up and came back from being down 3-0 to force OT and get a point in a 4-3 shootout loss. It was good for the Stars to get back in that game too. Everything was just going against them, including a questionable call to Brenden Morrow late in the 1st that the refs then added 2 mins on for unsportsmanlike when Morrow was not overly arguing the call, but the Stars popped a couple of goals into the net in the middle of the 2nd and then got a lucky bounce to tie the game in the 3rd. I was in the building and it was probably the 2nd or 3rd largest crowd of the season and once the Stars got back into it the arena was active and loud at times, which was good to see and hear.
Kari Lehtonen will be back in net tonight after a shaky start to the game against the Avs, but he played good down the stretch and in the shootout. Against him will be Jonas Gustavsson, who is filling in for the injured Gigure and has been doing alright for the Leafs. The problems for Toronto are obvious though. Too little scoring most nights, and they have a horrible PK just like the Stars. Both teams have only a 75% kill percentage and have even worse numbers on the road. So in the special teams play, the pressure is on tonight for the Stars. Both teams own powerplays that are about in the middle of the pack in the NHL, and whichever team is able to kill off the other’s chances and stay out of the box tonight has a good chance at winning the game.
And of course being in Toronto means more talk about the Brad Richards situation and the constant stories and rumors by the Leafs fans and followers. Brad addressed it today; here is a link over to the story at Andrew’s Stars Page.