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Stars Focusing on Home Opportunity

by Dallas Stars Staff / Dallas Stars

The Stars were back at work on Monday, putting the Sean Avery distractions behind them and focusing on one thing – playing hockey. The team has played better of late, going 4-3-0 in its last seven. But that’s not going to gain them much ground in the competitive Western Conference. There’s a lot of hockey to play.

The bottom line – it’s time for the Stars to string some wins together and try to get back in the race.

“We have a lot of work to do,” said Brad Richards. “It’s not early anymore and we have to get some things going. At this time of the year and with the position we are in there is not a lot of room for error. Our effort has to be there. It is a challenge; I don’t think it’s far from possible but it is a challenge. I think defensively we have the right ideas. Our second and third efforts need some work especially on the power play. We played well against the Red Wings but we have to do that against every team in the league.”

The Stars host Phoenix on Tuesday and Columbus on Thursday (Get Tickets). All the games are important the rest of the way, and the Stars are hoping to battle back two points at a time.

“We need to make sure that we are ready to play these next two games,” said Head Coach Dave Tippett. “We played very well against Detroit but I think we took a step back in Nashville. We are addressing some of those things today and we are getting ready for (Tuesday). Injuries are one thing but we still have to go out there and give it our best. If we don’t make every game feel like a playoff game from now on we are in trouble. We still feel that there is a lot of time left to scratch and claw back into this.

We have never been in this position before in the standings. We feel that things should have gone more smoothly so far this year but this is what we have done and we need to get better. We need to play as a group if we are going to move forward. If we do not play together as a group on the ice we are not going to get out of this. We have shown signs of that lately and if we continue that we can find some wins.”

Dallas has been battling injuries all season and that hasn’t helped. But the team isn’t making any excuses. They know what it will take.

“We want to get back into the playoff picture and we are going to have to battle to do that,” said Mike Modano. “The guys that are out right now are pivotal to our success. To get them back soon would be great for us. Columbus and Phoenix are two teams that are ahead of us and we have a chance to get some points from them. Phoenix played well against us last week. We would like to get some points before we head out on the road next week. We are going to try and get some confidence and string some games together.”

The Stars certainly aren’t used to being in last place in the conference. The entire team is pulling on the same rope and has one goal.

“We play to win every game,” said Marty Turco. “This locker room and organization has taken a lot of pride in winning a lot of games but we need to work to do that this year. There are no easy games anymore. Distractions and injuries don’t matter we have to move forward and get better. We are in a tough position and it’s challenging.”

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