"Lots of questions, but short on answers" would be the theme of the day as the Stars losing streak hits 3 games at the most crucial of moments in their season, after a 6-3 to the defending Cup Champions in Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon.
It is certainly a joy and a pleasure to be on the road with the Stars under any and all circumstances (in case you don't know what I am talking about, the Bob and Dan Radio show is traveling with the team on this most challenging or road trips this week to Pittsburgh, Washington, and Buffalo) it is a bit uncomfortable seeing the disappointment on the faces of the team at the moment of truth for the 2009-10 season.
They know the crucial nature of their actions. They know they cannot allow Los Angeles and St Louis to jump on them on home ice for a combined 11-2 thumping before going out East to take on the best the conference has to offer, and yet they cannot stop the bleeding.
Of course, it should be noted that beating the Penguins in Pittsburgh is an extremely tall order for any team in any circumstance, let alone a team that is a borderline playoff contender that is having trouble beating anyone this week. Pittsburgh is bursting with quality, as they scored 6 without Evgeni Malkin contributing a single point and Bill Guerin missing the game with back spasms. And yet, with this Sidney Crosby kid - who you look at and cannot help but think what he was doing just 6 days ago - they had more than enough hockey genius for a Saturday matinee victory.
Crosby worked some sweet magic yesterday with a number of plays that tell you he is not some hype-created force. He is arguably the best player in the world. And if he is in the middle of an argument about that topic, the other side of it, Alex Ovechkin, awaits the stumbling Stars on Monday in Washington.
Back to our Stars, there is not too much that can be said that hasn't already been said. We can talk about the idea that it is "go time", but it already was "go time" last week. We can talk about how everyone needs to dig a little deeper and skate a little harder. But, at what point do the guys begin to question whether they have what it takes to mount the surge that is required to make the playoffs?
I hope we are not already there - but this thing is in critical condition. Nothing a win on Monday won't cure, but then again, Washington actually has 96 points right now - the most in the NHL - and an unthinkable 14 more than the Penguins!
Nobody said this was going to be an easy ride. Even if the plane is decked out and wonderful.
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