First of all, American Airlines Center is a fun place right now.
We have traveled to places like Denver, Columbus, Anaheim, Carolina, Atlanta, Nashville...and they are not fun places.
Whatever the Stars are doing, they are putting bodies in the building (18,532 on Friday, and it looked pretty close to that) and they are winning (13-2-2 in their last 17 at home).
There is such a difference in this team between the road and home. I can't tell you how awful it feels and how hopeless at times it feels on the road. But when they are in this building, there is an amazing energy and optimism.
Anyway, all that aside. Mike Modano was fantastic in scoring two goals in 13:40. I was talking to him after the Edmonton game, and he was bemoaning the goal that went off his skate, and I said that Edmonton earned that goal, just as the Stars earned the late James Neal goal. If you hard to the net, if you force the other team to make defensive plays, then good things happen.
Modano's first goal was a perfect example. Mark Fistric made a bad read on a potential pass and dumped it around Modano. Modano turned on the jets, forced the Avalanche to scramble and then banked one in off the defenseman. He earned that goal with his hustle.
That's the same with the Jamie Benn goal. Benn had a scoring chance 20 seconds into the game and flubbed it. He and his linemates then came out at the three-minute mark and earned that first goal. They won puck battles, they got to the net, and they scored a huge huge goal that helped break the confidence and concentration of Colorado goalie Craig Anderson.
Bottom line, these are the things this team needs to continue to do.
Benn was great with linemates Brenden Morrow and Steve Ott. The Brad Richards line still is struggling defensively (they had a hard time with Matt Duchene on Friday). But that's just the NHL right now. No game is going to be perfect. You have to find a way to win.
Which brings us to Alex Auld.
I don't know what he is doing back there that's helping the Stars, but he's doing it. Maybe it's just because they are at home. Maybe it's because he stops the pucks he should stop. I honestly don't know, but as long as he is doing it, he needs to stay in net. The Stars right now look like a confident team in front of him, and he looks like a confident goalie behind them. That's pretty much the key to goaltending right there.
Anyway, Dave Tippett comes in on Sunday. We'll see just how magic this building really holds.