After a 5-0-2 preseason, hopes were high for the Dallas Stars as they prepared to open the regular season Thursday at home against last year’s worst team in the NHL.
Unfortunately, if we had to describe the Stars’ performance last night versus the Florida Panthers, we might have to go with this:
The Stars — featuring a new head coach in Lindy Ruff and a new tantalizing talent in former second overall pick Tyler Seguin — lost the game, 4-2.
And deservedly so.
“Maybe we thought it was going to be a little easy,” said Ruff, per Stars Inside Edge. “We had a good camp. That’s what I took from the game. Situations that we battled hard and came out on top, we lost tonight. Those are battles we have to win.”
The power play — an area many expected to improve with the addition of Sergei Gonchar — was particularly ineffective. In fact, the Stars had 5:08 of power-play time against the Panthers and had no power-play shots on goal.
“We had five or six attempts and all those shots were blocked. I thought our composure on the power play a couple times wasn’t good enough,” Ruff said. “We weren’t very good on the entries either.”
Yes, it was only one game, but given their current status in the local sports marketplace, it sure wasn’t the way they wanted to start. The announced crowd at the American Airlines Center was just 16,100, and the empty seats in the lower bowl were noticeable.
Dallas plays next on Saturday versus the Capitals.