The Stars undeniably had a good road-trip to the New York area. No one would claim that 5 points from 3 games is a bad outcome.
However, at times it seemed like Stars fans were living in the upside-down given some of the topsy-turvy aspects of the 3 games played over the last 4 days.
The penalty kill, normally an area in which the Stars are so reliable, gave up 3 power-play goals to the New York Rangers and another to the Islanders on the way to an overtime defeat. While it might be argued that the Stars are giving up some defense in the search for offense, with a rare goal this season for John Klingberg and a first NHL goal in almost two years for Stephen Johnson the trip, they are still not out-shooting opponents on a regular basis.
As an aside, it would have to be a person with a heart of stone, who watched Stephen Johns post-game interview from the game against the Rangers and failed to get emotional. Both he and Stars fans wondered if he would ever play again and it’s great to see him, and his cannon of a shot, back on the blue line.
On the flip-side the Stars power play, an area that has been misfiring for almost the entirety of the season, also managed to pot multiple goals against the two New York teams, gaining zone time and actually looking aggressive.
Joe Pavelski had a multi-goal night on Monday, having scored the overtime game-winning goal against the Devils on Saturday evening, excitingly the net-front presence and ability to score tip-in goals.
He was so feted for in San Jose made an appearancewas so feted for in San Jose made an appearance with two power-play goals in 16 seconds against the Rangers. Corey Perry also made an appearance on the score sheet with a goal in the Rangers game, something that has been rare this season.
The Stars are playing well and finding different ways to win, which must be considered to be a positive sign. While they lost the game against the Islanders in overtime, losing the 3rd game in 4 nights against a very solid Islanders side can’t be taken too negatively.
While the Stars have played few complete games and have rarely seemed truly dominant one can hope that as we head into the final third of the season the Stars will be able to build on the positives to put together a 200ft game that will carry them far in the Stanley Cup playoffs once Spring rolls around.
Featured Image: Frank Franklin II/AP