The Dallas Stars played their first game back after 10 days off and they looked alive. For a while, things felt off with the Stars – their game didn’t have the aggression and drive it once held. Frustrations were built as the All-Star break and last rush for playoff points really began to set in during early January.
Going into the All-Star/ Bye Week, the Stars had lost four of their five games, the lone victory coming from the final game before break, where the Stars won over the Winnipeg Jets 4-2. In that five game stretch, the Stars scored seven goals while allowing 11. The Stars did out-shoot their opponents 164 to 119 but pucks weren’t getting in. The victory against the Jets had signs of hope, the team felt like they had snapped out of whatever funk they were sitting in. The game was aggressive and fast with a beautiful result for the start of 10 days off.
Over the break, the Stars traded a 2019 4th round pick in return for Jamie Oleksiak. Oleksiak was traded by the Stars to the Pittsburgh Penguins last season and now the Stars have called him back to Dallas. While away, Oleksiak signed a 3-year $2.1 million dollar contract with the Penguins.
Last night’s game was like watching a reinvigorated team. The hits were big, especially the ones coming from the Captain. Jamie Benn had awakened his pest instincts and it was a game changer. Jamie had some big hits (four to be exact), one on Jack Eichel that was amazing, and his line were shutting people down. Jamie scored the lone goal of the game but Ben Bishop was the true Star, stopping 30 shots to grab his 27th career shutout.
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) January 31, 2019
This game was crucial to the Stars’ success – it has set the tone for the Stars’ second half and in their final push to playoffs it gave the team and Head Coach, Jim Montgomery, some peace of mind and confidence going into some of the most important games of the year. The final games are going to be anything but easy, as there are still obstacles to get over.
The injured reserve (IR) has grown even more today. Jim Montgomery announced today that Tyler Pitlick will be out for two weeks and Jason Dickinson will miss at least two games. These two are joining Stephen Johns (post-traumatic headaches), Marc Methot (knee surgery, out for season), Martin Hanzal (back), and Val Nichushkin (upper body).
The Stars have been battling with the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th spots in the Division.
Featured Image: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images