Friday Night it all begins for the 2010-11 Dallas Stars. It has been a long time since we saw this group leave the ice in early April, and there is certainly a feeling everywhere you look on the hockey landscape that the Stars are being over-looked across the league.
Seldom a national publication has the Stars in the playoffs. And those who do have them in the #8 seed as a "just barely" type performance.
The doubting has been loud and clear around here ever since the Sean Avery debacle.
Given that Sean Avery was signed 28 months ago, it is time to silence the doubting.
It is time for this team to not make excuses nor accept excuses. On this blog, I will discuss reasons at great length for this team's plight and will try to rationalize every short coming over the course of this season (just like I did last year and the year before that).
But, I don't wear the Star on my chest 82 games a year.
Those 23 do.
And they can no longer accept the reasons. They cannot look at payroll. They cannot look at predictions. They cannot look at age and experience.
They simply have to change their reputation.
The last 28 months have shown people that this is not the Dallas Stars of the Cup contention era. They play in the same city and wear the same logo, but otherwise, it is tough to recognize this franchise as the once proud Dallas Stars.
Joe Nieuwendyk and Marc Crawford want to change that.
They have preached their message of accountability and dedication. They have charged their forces to be relentless and difficult to play against. They no longer want their boys to go quietly into the night. They have challenged their veterans and their leadership to demonstrate these messages to the team.
But, Nieuwendyk and Crawford cannot put the Star on either.
Only 20 players dress every night. And when they do, magazines and pre game speeches do not matter. Paychecks and travel arrangements do not, either.
There is 60 minutes, 200 feet of ice, and a puck.
And if the 20 that wear the Star can beat the 20 that are that night's enemy, then this team can slowly climb back into the relevance that they once occupied in the NHL.
Until then, we must all continue to read about the doubts.
Friday it starts in New Jersey. 20 players will be selected to represent this franchise at 6pm (in glorious HD!). When they pull that sweater over their head they will be putting the reputation of Dallas Stars hockey back on full display for the hockey world to consume.
I desperately want them to start to turn the corner on this new era. I know you do, too. But, only the 20 can change it now.
82 games to show the doubters that they were wrong to doubt you.
Let's get it on.
Email Bob at Sturm1310@aol.com and follow him on twitter at www.twitter.com/bobanddan
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