Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Stars Down Flames, Look Forward

The Dallas Stars went into Calgary, Alberta, last night, and after Sean Avery took himself out of games for the forseeable future, still had to face a hot Calgary team on the ice. The 3-2 victory over the Flames was one of the best wins for the club so far this year, and has fans all over hoping that this is the start of something good. With the victory on Sunday over the Oilers, it was the first back-to-back regular-season wins for the Stars since February of this year.

The Stars have a tough stretch ahead of them to keep the momentum going. They will immediately take the ice again tonight for another match against Edmonton, and then return home for a 3-game stand with the Avalanche, Coyotes & Red Wings. And while many people may argue that schedule isn't filled with the conference's top competitors (excepting the Red Wings, of course), the Stars are still playing with a very depleted roster, and even games that might once have been forgone conclusions will be closely contested.

And, the Avs may be starting to come together this season. After a host of setbacks (injuries, poor performances), similar to those of the Stars, Colorado is beginning to look pretty dangerous. They've won their last two games and look more like the team they were forcasted to be this season.

To quickly return to the Sean Avery issue - and I won't stay here long - I'm interested in hearing what you all might think about how his role with the Stars in the future will be effected. Eklund (that anonymous hockey blogger) - has told me he believes this to be the ticket for Sean Avery out of Dallas. While I don't know that I agree 100%, I can't see how the rest of the team can welcome him fully back into the fold, when they didn't seem to be very happy with him before the comments. Mike Modano's response is also interesting:

"It's unacceptable. Our perception around the league has been tarnished a bit. Our attitude with the refs has been rough this year. We don’t get the benefit of doubt because we're very vocal in those areas. In the past, we've been a quiet, confident group, and we simply need to get back to that.''

Sean Avery has a guaranteed contract in Dallas, which limits how the Stars can react to this kind of situation. But, they still have the ability to place him on Waivers or trade him, if another team is willing to take this mess on. In a response about Avery's return to the team, if that happens, Modano hinted that it might not be an easy thing:

It's going to take some time. It certainly will be a situation we'll have to address when that time comes ... if it does.

I know Mo wasn't 100% comfortable with the "C" on his chest, but those are the kind of quotes that come from a good captain. And I think the Stars should let him take this team again, and make it official. I also believe that Mark Parrish would make a nice "A" alternate as well to take Modano's place.

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