The Stars won big in Buffalo Saturday, dropping 7 on the dwindling Sabres. This is the second time this season that the Stars have scored 7 in a game, and won by a 6 goal margin. And before you jump in and say “lol sabres get rekt scrubs”, don’t dismiss this just yet.
- Goals and assists are still coming from everywhere. Saturday is a great example of this: six different players scored, and 10 players registered assists. While none of the Stars are in the top 20 for points, we still have four players with more than forty, and eight with twenty or more. This is important in case something happens to Tyler Seguin. Being able to win without your leading goal scorer is important when it comes to making the playoffs, and more importantly, winning in the playoffs.
- Welcome back, Mattias Janmark! Before Saturday, poor Matti hadn’t seen the score sheet for two weeks. After scoring one and assisting on another against Edmonton, he had a pretty rough four games. That all changed on Saturday. He started things off with by setting up Elie for the first goal of the night, followed that with a PPG tap-in, and ended the night with a ridiculous sniper in the second. By all accounts, he’s back to his dangerous self.
- John Klingberg has the team on his back. He’s been absolutely devouring ice time lately with ease, and he’s been a fantastic two-way threat. By quite a few metrics, he’s a top-ten defenseman, and yet he’s been the second best offensive player for us as well this year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him sneak into the Norris Trophy running.
- We’re still firmly in the playoff race. The Stars currently occupy the top wild card slot in the Western Conference, and Hockey Reference currently projects a 69.9% probability of making the playoffs. I like those odds.
And now for three observtions ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Florida Panthers.
- Florida is struggling. They’ve lost five of their last seven, they’ve been garbage on the road, and Luongo is still hurt. This means the team has been relying on the likes of James Reimer, who is definitely not as good as Luongo, and Harri Sateri, who is not as good as Reimer.
- The Stars are coming home after a very successful road trip, winning three and losing one in overtime, by a combined score of 15 to 7. For a team that had some serious struggles on the road at the start of the season, this is what we’ve wanted to see.
- The Stars are very, very good on home ice, not just this season in general, but lately. In the six games before the road trip, the Stars won four and lost two. Contrast that with the Panthers, who have only won one of their last five on the road, and you have a match-up that definitely favors Dallas.
Stars take on the Panthers tonight at 7:30.
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