Don't look now, but the essentially committed-to-retooling Dallas Stars are chasing Detroit for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Just three behind, it looks entirely possible that a late push could get them to the postseason. Despite losing both of the previous games to Nashville, the Stars are going to fight tooth and nail for ever inch of ice to secure two points.
On the other hand, the Predators announced Thursday that Wilson, Borque, and Guastad will be out for the remainder of the season (and then some) to undergo surgical procedures. Between that and icing a glorified AHL squad every night, all the team and fans can do is look ahead to next season, and play spoiler to the clubs with dreams of playoffs dancing in their heads.
Both the two previous Stars losses to the Preds weren't pretty. One came by way of a Rinne shutout in Dallas, the other saw the Stars squander a two-goal lead only to fall in overtime at Bridgestone Arena. Taking that into consideration, along with the team's desperation and recent success (6-4-0 in their last 10 and three in a row.), the Stars should be especially motivated to pull out a win tonight.
They may be without the services of Kari Lehtonen, but don't overestimate Jamie Benn and the oft-underrated Loui Eriksson. Benn paces the Stars with 27 points, while Eriksson sits just two behind and leads the team in goals.
#14 / Left Wing / Dallas Stars
Jul 18, 1989
|2012 - Jamie Benn||32||8||19||27||-8||36||2||0||3||86||9.3|
After recalling Daniel Bang and Austin Watson within the past week, Taylor Beck is beginning to look like a seasoned veteran on the Nashville roster. While the season may be all but over, the call-ups should at least make the last few games interesting to watch. Let's see what they can bring to the table.
#56 / Left Wing / Nashville Predators
May 13, 1991
|2012 - Taylor Beck||12||2||4||6||+6||0||0||0||0||26||7.7|
Yip and Fisher didn't play Tuesday and are questionable for tonight's game.
One can only hope Nashville has more gusto in its step than it did against the Blues. (You probably fell asleep just thinking about that game.) While the team isn't playing for much these days, it's hard to imagine that all the players are content with the way they've been losing recently. Stay with the team for the last seven games, and you may just be rewarded with some karma points next season...