Tom Gaglardi

Stars owner asks for patience after devastating loss

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The Dallas Stars have lost four games in a row, including a humiliating 8-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.

With the team’s playoff chances slipping away, Stars owner Tom Gaglardi was asked following that loss if he planned to make any management or coaching changes.

“No,” Gaglardi said, according to the Dallas Morning News.

When pressed, Gaglardi further downplayed the possibility of shaking up the team.

“I don’t think we gain anything by making dramatic changes right now,” Gaglardi said. “I think it’s important to measure what we’ve got, and I think we need a good period of time to do that.

“I don’t think there’s anything to gain from doing anything like that or discussing anything like that, and nothing has been discussed like that. Frankly, that’s not on my mind from where I sit.”

Stars coach Glen Gulutzan is only in his second season with the club while GM Joe Nieuwendyk has been around since 2009 and the team hasn’t made the playoffs during his tenure.

The Stars have been rebuilding and do still have some young players in key positions like 23-year-old Jamie Benn and 21-year-old Cody Eakin. However, at this point they also have a number of core players either entering their prime or well into them, but listening to Gaglardi, they certainly don’t seem to be in win-now mode yet.

“I want us to just play better. I’m not going to be looking at the standings. I want us to just play good hockey,” Gaglardi said. “If we make the playoffs, we make the playoffs, and if we don’t, we don’t. We’ll deal with either scenario.

“Right now, it’s more about how we’re playing. I heard the term `wake-up call’ after the game last night, and maybe that’s part of it, but I think we just need to play a better game.”

Related:

Time for a shakeup in Dallas?

Stars end Capitals’ winning streak, pass Blackhawks for West lead

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For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”

They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:

  • Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
  • This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
  • By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.

Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).

Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.

Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.

Blackhawks fall to Ducks in OT, lose Hossa to injury

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The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.

(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)

Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)

You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:

It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.

Update: Joel Quenneville seems optimistic about Hossa, broadly speaking:

Ryan Getzlaf scored the overtime game-winner as the Ducks won 3-2 (OT).

Understatement: Saturday was a rough night for Panthers

Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson (33) checks Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau (11) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
AP
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If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.

You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.

The pain goes beyond that … literally so.

For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.

(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)

The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.

Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.

Fractured jaw from fight sidelines Chris Stewart for 4-8 weeks

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It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.

The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).

The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.

One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.