With the lockout and the firesale at the trade deadline last year, this feature kind of became a little ridiculous to keep up with. Not so this year, as I've got a whole season (hooray!) and I'm anticipating a bit more stability personne...
With the lockout and the firesale at the trade deadline last year, this feature kind of became a little ridiculous to keep up with. Not so this year, as I've got a whole season (hooray!) and I'm anticipating a bit more stability personnel-wise this year.
So without further ado, our first Ups and Downs for the 2013-2014 Dallas Stars season. I look at where individuals are trending to in this handy-dandy table format. The analysis of each person is done solely by me and my observations -- sometimes I do it by committee with other writers, but I've got the ultimate say. So if you disagree on any of these, feel free to tell me in the comments! Who doesn't like a good ol' hockey debate?
Jamie BENN2gp, 0-1-1, Even
Comments: Jamie Benn's debut as captain of the Dallas Stars didn't look like what most expected in the preseason, but his line rebounded nicely against the Washington Capitals.
Jordie BENN2gp, 0-1-1, Even
Comments: Jordie Benn had quite possibly his best game to date in a Stars uniform on Saturday after a forgettable first outing. He's trending up on his high confidence look.
Alex CHIASSON2gp, 2-0-2, -1
Comments: I often wonder if Alex Chiasson walks around with the song "All I Do Is Win" in his head...except all he seems to do is score goals. Eight goals in nine NHL games and a point per game pace. It's not sustainable, and his stats will come back down to earth eventually, but what a ride so far for the young rookie.
Erik COLE2gp, 1-0-1, Even
Comments: Erik Cole has continued to show some chemistry on that top line of Benn and Tyler Seguin. That line will need to really get rolling if the Stars hope to keep winning games, though.
Comments: Kevin Connauton has yet to crack the lineup in the first two games of the season. Will we see him play in the back-to-back set this weekend?
Trevor DALEY2gp, 0-0-0, Even
Comments: Just to shove it in Josh's face, Trevor Daley did NOT score the first goal of the season as an own goal on Kari Lehtonen. Otherwise, he's been solid back on the blue line -- which as a defenseman, isn't a bad thing.
Brenden DILLON2gp, 1-1-2, +2
Comments: Brenden Dillon is leading the D in scoring, and is averaging nearly 20 minutes a night. He's picked up right where he left off last season it seems. Maybe he'll avoid the dreaded "sophomore slump" -- which is one of the keys to success for the Stars' blue line this year.
Cody EAKIN2gp, 0-1-1, Even
Comments: Cody Eakin centered a line that got torched defensively against the Florida Panthers, but he rebounded for a pretty good game against the Caps.
Comments: Dan Ellis didn't see any action in the first two games of the year. It's not surprising since Kari Lehtonen likes to get a lot of game action in at the beginning of the season. It will be interesting to see if he gets a start over the weekend -- logic says to me that he should -- but the question is which game does he play in? I'll go ahead and guess they play him against the Minnesota Wild on the second half of the back-to-back. Maybe he can start the trend of turning around that terrible record the Stars have had lately in those situations...
Vernon FIDDLER2gp, 0-1-1, Even
Comments: Vernon Fiddler is one of the key cogs leading the Stars' top ten penalty kill right now. He's also killing it on the faceoff dot: 60.7% through two games, good for 10th in the league so far.
Ryan GARBUTT2gp, 0-0-0, Even
Comments: Ryan Garbutt didn't last that long in the home opener loss to the Panthers before he was ejected from the game. He made it through the entire game against the Caps, however, and that game ended differently. One reason for it was giving Lindy Ruff the ability t