The Dallas Stars had been atrocious during January until a week ago where they only had one win since the start of the New Year and the future didn’t look bright for Lindy Ruff’s team.
Fast forward time one week and the Stars have won three games in a row against tough opposition and they are suddenly again in the conversation to get themselves into the Western Conference’s playoffs for the first time in five years. Their recent win over the Pittsburgh Penguins was their best performance during this month and it seems like the Stars have left their offensive issues behind them.
Dallas found the back of the net three times against the Penguins – one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference – thanks to goals from Sergei Gonchar, Jamie Benn and Rich Peverley and they certainly look like a much better team on the attacking end, but this isn’t the only area where the team has improved as of late.
The defense looks very solid right now and they have received only one goal in the last three games. Gonchar’s return was certainly helpful and Alex Goligoski’s growth has been nothing short of spectacular as he’s quickly becoming a top defenseman in this roster. It’s safe to say, however, that none of this would’ve been possible without the outstanding goaltending of Kari Lehtonen who recorded another shootout tonight and has also contributed offensively with two assists in the last three contests.
The Stars have a long way to go if they want to get into the playoff picture and they are still looking for consistency on both ends of the ice, but one thing is certain: the Stars were one of the most exciting teams at the start of the regular season and now they appear to have left their slump behind. If they can continue this performance down the stretch, then this is awful news for the rest of the West.