Play well, and you keep playing well. Play well, and you keep the lines and the pairings the same. Play well, and you have confidence.
The NHL is an interesting circle of momentum. If you have it, the game is just so much easier.
Right now, the Stars don't have it.
They are juggling lines and defense pairs, they are starting to get some bumps and bruises. Stars coach Dave Tippett ran a short, optional practice Sunday and allowed his players some rest time. Jere Lehtinen appears slowed by some unexplained injury. The same with Steve Ott.
It will be interesting to see how both look at the morning skate today.
It will also be interesting to see how the Stars look tonight against Columbus. The Blue Jackets are very hot (four wins in a row), and they are ticked off after losing 7-3 to the Stars the last time these two teams met.
After tonight, the Stars have a six-game homestand _ the longest of the season. But included are games Saturday against Chicago and Monday against San Jose. The Stars need to have momentum in those games. They need to have confidence. Can they earn that confidence against Columbus and Edmonton?
They need to right now, or they could get on the bad side of these issues, the same way Colorado and Anaheim have lately.
- Mike Heika