82 game seasons have patches of the season that are more challenging than other parts. These last two weeks were one of the tougher stretches of the 82 game journey. Despite some rough outings, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Dallas Stars.

400 for #4

The greatest thing to happen for Miro Heiskanen this past week was becoming a father.  Adding to an eventful week for Miro, skating in his 400th game Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden vs the New York Rangers.  He got back on the ice netting a goal against a white hot Igor Shesterkin in a 3-1 defeat.

Everybody in that locker room knows Heiskanen is the engine of the team. Especially with the holes on the blue line.  A big reason why the Stars are a playoff team season after season is because of number four in the lineup.  Heiskanen is the best pure defenseman in the league.  He generates offense, and while it’s often overlooked by the public, his play in the d zone is incredible.

Stanky’s debut

Having a team so deep at forward depth from the NHL to the minors has it’s benefits.  There’s also has a downside to the luxury.  Often times players end up stuck in the American Hockey League too long, or get traded before they have a chance to shine on the big stage.

The Stars’ Logan Stankoven got his long waited start yesterday vs the Carolina Hurricanes.  It was announced Saturday morning that the AHL’s leading scorer was finally getting his first crack at the big leagues.  Picking up three shots on goal in last night’s win.

Southern 2 step with Carolina

On Tuesday February 13th, the Stars played the Carolina Hurricanes for the first of two meetings in Dallas.  That night, Dallas pulled away from a Carolina team that tied it up twice after the Stars got a lead.  Doubling up the Canes en route to a 4-2 win, and one of Dallas’ best efforts all year.

Last night, the Stars focused on playing a tighter defensive game and it paid off. Following arguably the worst loss of the season in a 4-1 defeat to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, the Stars were able to get back on track.  Defeating the Hurricanes 2-1 in a defensive battle to claim a season sweep of an eastern conference power.

Overall outlook

There’s no sugar coating it.  A season high of four losses in a row wasn’t fun.  But as they say it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.  Getting back in the win column with solid defense, and goaltending is music to the ears of Stars fans.  Finishing the road trip with a win, too.  The Stars went the last two weeks with a 3-2-2 record.  That would be the best way to suffer a four game skid.  The team still went over .500 in that span of games.  More importantly they finished strong.

Photo credit: Karl B DeBlaker/AP

February can be looked at from a more positive view.  All teams face adversity, and tough stretches.  Fans of the Stars would rather see Dallas suffer an inevitable rough stretch during regular season play than playoff time.  A perfect example of facing adversity in the spring just happened last year.  Dallas should use this rough stretch to addresss concerns by the March 8th trade deadline.  If GM Jim Nill wants to go all in on a second Stanley Cup in Dallas.

Featured photo: Raleigh News and Observer on MSN

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