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Modano Blog: Big Road Trip

by Michael Modano / Dallas Stars

Four games out west -- this is the type of road trip that will define us as a team. It’s a very important trip with our situation. We need to get some wins in order to secure our spot in the playoffs, but more important we have to get back to playing good hockey.

I like this team. It kind of reminds me of some of the teams from the 90s. We went through some of the same hardships in the mid-90s and bonded and learned how to win. The long playoff runs we had were a result of becoming a team.

And that’s what we have here. This team has some young guys who are learning about what it takes to win. And we’ve got some veterans who are stepping up and showing the way. Guys like Matti Norstrom and Stu Barnes.

Brad Richards has stepped right in and has meshed with our group. I like Richards as a teammate. I know we haven’t had the success we’ve all wanted since we added him, but he’s going to be good for us. It’s been very easy for him to fit in, and that starts with him. He’s a good guy and knows what it takes. I believe we’re going to turn things around and no doubt he’ll be a big part of it. And a big key is that Richards is not a rental player. He’s a guy that we can build with.

You can tell the guys like each other in this room and that is a positive sign for us. There is a lot of support and trust in this group. That’s one of the main positives about this team. There’s a will to go the extra mile for your teammates and the guys in the room. It says a lot about this team and that’s important.

Being on the road this week is good because distractions are not there. You do everything with your teammates -- eating, relaxing, practice, playing the games. Being a team becomes the focal point and this trip will certainly do us a lot of good. It comes at the right time for us as a team. We all know how tough these buildings are to play in on the road but we’ve had success here in the past. This situation will bring us closer even more.

The playoffs are right around the corner. It really doesn’t matter who we play or where. We just need to be ready to go. This trip can go a long way towards getting us ready to battle as a team.

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