Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill wasn’t ready to sound the alarm bells over the team’s early season struggles when he talked with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Friday. After back-to-back losses over the weekend though, coach Lindy Ruff wants to draw a line in the sand.
“This will be the biggest point of the season come Tuesday,” Ruff said. “We have to make a stand.”
Dallas held its own for the better part of Sunday’s game against Chicago, but it gave up four goals in the third period en route to a 6-2 loss. The Stars now have a 6-8-4 record this season.
“We got through the first 40 and actually created a couple of good opportunities, got a couple of good, key kills,” the bench boss said. “Just became unraveled. As soon as you start to gamble and try to create more chances against that team, you’re going to give up some big looks. And we did.”
Tuesday’s contest against Carolina seems like as good a game as any to put an exclamation point on as the Hurricanes have problems of their own this season. They’ve only scored two goals over their last three contests and have consequently lost all of those games. With a 5-9-3 record, Carolina has the second-worst record in the league (Columbus has as many points, but beats the Hurricanes in ROW).
The game against Carolina will also mark the start of a five-game homestand for the Stars. That’s typically a good thing, but Dallas is just 1-4-4 at American Airlines Center. That obviously needs to change if they want to have any chance of making the playoffs.