This is a really frustrating team right now.
You would think they would be furious after Thursday's night's officiating problems at LA, but they came out against the Ducks and got run over in the first period to the tune of 18-5 in the shots on goal category.
Then, when goalie Kari Lehtonen held them in the game and took it to the third period at 1-1, you thought for sure they would salvage something.
But they didn't...again.
While it would be easy to look at the loss to Colorado as a tired loss, this one shouldn't have been. Yes, they played on back-to-back nights, but they had plenty of sleep and plenty of motivation. Stars coach Marc Crawford pondered that the Ducks watched the physical game against the Kings and came out with a plan of running the Stars into the ground early, and he said it worked.
But, he added that Dallas recovered, had plenty of great chances and simply made a few unfortunate mistakes.
Nicklas Grossman and Stephane Robidas got cross-wise on coverage on the second goal. Jamie Benn missed two golden scoring chances in the third period. James Neal hit two posts. Trevor Daley buried a great shot into the chest of Jonas Hiller.
There are things you have to do if you want to win. The Stars did not do them.
And so they are 8-7-0. That's a .533 points percentage and it will get them the same 88 points they had at the end of last season. It will probably get them 12th place in the West again. So much for the new attitude and the bright future, eh.
But then when you study the problems of this team, you think maybe things will be OK. Clearly, they are getting great scoring chances for their best offensive players, and you have to figure those incredibly talented players will eventually cash in on them. Clearly, their goalie is giving them the opportunity to win pretty much every game, and you wonder if he might be able to do that for the rest of the season. If you have those two things, you figure this team will eventually score and will win because of it.
So it's way too early to panic, right?
Sure, but just remember that once you slip back to .500, you really have to work hard to climb back up that hill again.
Here's Brenden Morrow on the subject:
``It just seems like we're finding ways to lose games right now,'' Stars captain Brenden Morrow said. ``It's frustrating, because you start the season with four wins, then get a couple of losses, then get three wins, and now we've got three losses again. It's really frustrating. It's about wins and losses. We'd like to think we're better than a .500 hockey club, but we haven't been.''
Here's coach Marc Crawford when asked what kind of team this is:
``It is what it is,'' Stars coach Marc Crawford said. ``We have to deal with what the record is and find a way to get better. Eight and seven, if you keep that going on through the end of the season, you're not going to be there.''
He added: ``It's tough on our players, it's tough on our fans. We did lots of things right, but we just need to find the right things to do. All we can do is be ready for our game on Tuesday, and we will be.''
The Stars have three home games against Anaheim, San Jose and Colorado. They will be great tests of mental toughness and whether or not the Stars feel a little revenge is needed. And if Dallas wins all three, then we'll all probably say they are getting things fixed and becoming a great team. Or maybe we'll have learned a lesson by then.
This is going to be a long ride, and you really can't predict how things are going to look from period to period.
The Stars are staying in California, working out off-ice on Saturday morning and flying back Saturday afternoon. They could take Sunday off and they will return to game play Tuesday against the Ducks.