“We have to find ways to win and that’s the bottom line,” Head Coach Dave Tippett said. “We are right in that pack of teams and we need points. We have to give everything we can. We want to be in the playoffs … This is where we are, this is what we have to do.”
With 12 of their remaining 20 games coming on the road, Dallas is going to have to find a way to come together as a team and will themselves to win. Despite the recent five-game skid, the team is by no means out of the playoff race. Currently sitting in 11th with 65 points, the Stars are a mere three points behind sixth-place Columbus. String together a couple of wins, and talk of missing the playoffs settles down once again.
“I like the fact that everyone has written us off and counted us out,” Steve Ott
said. “It plays into that underdog hand that we are. We are a team that loves to battle and loves to compete in tough situations.”
And this upcoming road trip will no doubt be tough. First on the docket is San Jose, leading the Western Conference with 93 points. More pressing, the Sharks are an incredible 26-2-3 at home this season. They are, however, just 5-3-2 in their last 10, with two losses (Detroit and Montreal) in their last three games.
Following the trip to HP Pavilion, the Stars head to LA for back-to-back games against the Kings on Thursday and the Ducks on Friday. Los Angeles is struggling, going 2-6-2 in their last 10. With 61 points, the Kings are still hanging around the playoff chatter, though currently sit six points out of the final eighth spot.
Finishing up the trip is a stop in Anaheim, to face the Ducks for the second time in less than a week. The Ducks took the win at the American Airlines Center Feb. 28, pulling out a 4-3 victory with two quick goals in the third. A scuffle after the final whistle in front of Anaheim’s net landed Ott a one-game suspension, served Sunday vs. Pittsburgh.
Despite the tough three games that lie ahead of them, the team feels strongly they will be able to pull together and grind out some wins.
“Obviously when you are not in the playoffs you feel a little desperation,” defenseman Darryl Sydor said. “I think we will be fine. There is a lot of confidence in this room and we just need to get that confidence and swagger back. It’s a kind of like business as usual, but we’ve been more vocal as of late. We are professionals, this is what we do and we better have enough fight to keep going.”