Per Sports Club Stats, the Stars’ chances of qualifying for the postseason for the first time since 2008 are currently at 48.1 percent. Not long ago, they peaked at almost 80 percent.
Tonight, the Stars host Winnipeg. Tomorrow, they’re in Chicago to play the Blackhawks. It doesn’t take a genius to predict which of the two games should be easier to win.
And with the Phoenix Coyotes two points up on Dallas for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, it doesn’t take a genius to figure the Stars really need to win the games they’re supposed to.
“Our team has answered almost every call this year,” coach Lindy Ruff said Saturday. “From the tough stretch we went through in January to this little bit of a tough stretch.”
Before beating Ottawa — a team in complete disarray, it should be noted — the Stars had lost three straight in regulation by a combined score of 16-5. One of those defeats was to the Jets, by a score of 7-2 on Mar. 16 in Winnipeg.
The Stars have another tough back-to-back on Friday and Saturday, when they host Nashville first then travel to play in St. Louis the next night.
Marner’s brilliant passing powers uplifting night for Leafs
Devan Dubnyk already showed signs of having a hot start to 2016-17, but Thursday made that point abundantly clear.
For the second straight game, Dubnyk generated a shutout, with the Minnesota Wild beating the Buffalo Sabres 4-0 in this instance.
It’s not as if Dubnyk is just leisurely turning aside the occasional chance, either; he made 38 saves to blank Buffalo and needed to stop 65 shots on goal considering the 27 he turned aside in a 5-0 win vs. Boston.
There are plenty of differences between Alex Ovechkin and Patrik Laine, including obvious things like one being from Russia and the other from Finland.
Still, there are moments when Laine inspires comparisons to his idol, even this early in his rookie season.
Thursday presented one of those moments. It wasn’t just that Laine fired a 3-0 goal home for the Winnipeg Jets against the Dallas Stars with such moxie; it was also that he showed some swagger with a celebration afterward.
This GIF captures the moment brilliantly, while you can also watch the goal in video form.
Early this season, Dmitry Orlov delighted onlookers and angered Matt Duchene with a mind-blowing, throwback hip check. People really seemed to enjoy it.
While you’d struggle to top that hit, Philadelphia Flyers forward Sean Couturier must have sensed the void in checks that almost seem to flip opponents, doing so against Anthony Duclair during Thursday’s contest.
Rate this as you will:
Want another look at the Orlov one for comparison’s sake or to chuckle in disbelief? Why not: