I am sure by now you know the significance. After the game, Brenden Morrow
assured me that he knew the significance. He was telling us on the post game show about how this was something that the team talked about on Thursday during the game when all of us were talking about seeing Mike Modano in a red jersey. That was a big talking point for us (and Brenden agreed that it was sure weird and significant to see him out there in the other team's sweater) but the talking point in the room was 3 in a row.
For those of you who are not up to speed with the most amazingly disappointing stat from the 2009-10 season, brace yourself because here it is: In 2009-10, 30 teams played in the NHL. 29 of them won 3 games in a row at one point. The Dallas Stars did not.
Heck, 26 teams did it by New Year's Day. Carolina and Tampa Bay needed to January. The Toronto Maple Leafs accomplished this mission in early March. But, our Stars never strung the most feeble of win streaks together.
It was a reflection of how tough it was to get any sort of momentum going as one thing after another would sabotage this team's efforts to get out of its own way.
But, as the captain sat with us after the game on Thursday, you could tell that the burden of 3 in a row was a pretty sweet one to shed. The Stars started this season with 3 straight wins, and will not suffer that indignity for another year.
This team has momentum. Before we concede that momentum stays only as long as you do the things that brought it in the first place, let's just talk about the idea of team building.
We know what kind of summer this team had. We know the last 2 seasons. We know the fact that Stars' hockey is not the most popular topic on the sports page right now.
It was important for this team to demonstrate that they can adapt to this initiative of being a grittier, more determined band of brothers.
So, in New Jersey, Long Island, and then Thursday against the Red Wings, the Stars did enough 3 straight times to get positive results from 60 minutes of hockey. The Stars competed, found opportunities, dug hard, and relied on their new goaltender enough to scratch out the "W" each night.
Imagine the possible ramifications of a game like Thursday: The game did its best number on TV since 2004 for a Stars game. It was to see Mike Modano, but all of those eyeballs (and media types who might not normally be at a hockey game this time of year with all of the other things on their plate) were going to have a chance to see if these Stars were last year's Stars. In fact, I am sure some secretly hoped the Stars would get trounced to make their Mike Modano column a bit more tasty. Instead, the Stars jump on the Wings early, and made a very good team look rather helpless in the final analysis against the 4 goal barrage the Stars earned.
You don't get a second chance to make a first impression, and I would imagine anyone that saw the Stars Thursday night are interested in seeing more.
But, the public buzz doesn't matter in the standings.
The Standings only reflect whether the 20 guys in the Dallas colors can consistently pile up results. And 3 for 3 is the early tally.
Guys are buying in. Guys are feeling good about themselves. Not too good, but don't underestimate the importance of seeing results for your hard work to confirm that good things happen to those who dig in the corners for pucks.
Many more battles ahead, including one tonight against a St Louis squad that is a great model for the Stars. That team skates, grinds, and works as hard as any team in the league, in my estimation. They work with what they have and scratch out results with determination and conviction. A great test for the Stars to see where they are.
Also, a great chance to get to 4 in a row.
Email Bob at Sturm1310@aol.com and follow him on twitter at www.twitter.com/bobanddan
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