Happy New Year's Eve!
The Arizona Coyotes are looking for their fourth win in a row in Dallas, as they take on the Stars. Neither team's season has gone the way it was envisioned back in training camp, but each squad is playing better as of late and has a chance to end the year on a high note. (If the Stars win, watch out streets of Dallas, Tyler Seguin is coming!)
With Edmonton so far down the standings they are in danger of missing the AHL playoffs, the Stars, Coyotes, Avalanche and Wild are bunched together, using body heat to keep warm at the bottom of the Western Conference standings.
One thing Dallas does have that Arizona does not is a top line. The trio of Jamie Benn, Jason Spezza and Seguin have a combined 41 goals and 98 points. By comparison, Arizona's top line has 27 combined goals and 66 points.
The two teams have similar issues, but are very different. That's why we wanted to find out more about them by asking the people we know best -- Defending Big D and Obscene Alex. Click here to see our answers to their questions. In the mean time, let's learn more about the team the Pacific Division forgot:
1. Since most people think desert when then they think of Texas, does it make you sad when nobody brings you up when they discuss hockey in the desert?
Honestly, I feel that never being mentioned in the same sentence as the Coyotes can only be a good thing. It is a shame though that the Laredo Bucks were forced to relocate. Having that one desert hockey team that people could actually enjoy watching sure was great, wasn't it?
2. Jim Nill knows he's also supposed to sign defensemen, right?
Are you kidding me? The Stars have at least two average to decent defensemen playing on any given night. It's funny though. This was raised as a legitimate concern over the summer, but with the shiny new toys on offense, and the continued development of Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, and the absolute certainty we all had that Kari Lehtonen could perform at least at league average...we as fans consoled ourselves that the issue would be at least somewhat glossed over. The Stars were going to score five goals a night. What would it matter if they gave up four? Turns out though they're scoring four, and giving up five. Woops.
But anyway, when talking about shaky defense, let's not be too quick to cast stones...And besides, if it weren't for all the gaping holes on the Stars' defense, how would rookie phenom John Klingberg have had the chance to prove himself?
3. How will Tony Romo find a way to choke away a Stars victory on Wednesday?
How did you know that Romo is a huge Stars fan? I'm pretty sure his entire focus this week though will be on how to lose to the Lions this coming weekend. He won't have time to sabotage the Stars. Don't worry though. The Stars need no outside help in choking away victories.
4. Is it some kind of rule that no one outside of your top line is allowed to score? Follow up: Has Tyler Seguin changed his clothes this season?
Yes. Yet another awful thing Gary Bettman has done is institute this rule. On the bright side, it's allowed Seguin to selfishly run amok through the entire league, without having to worry about having to share the bounty with mere second line forwards. Have you seen him though?! I'm pretty sure he has more goals on his own than the Coyotes have combined for this season. Don't you sometimes wish any of your lines were allowed to score?
5. Better free agent signing: Anders Lindback or Ales Hemsky?
I'll have you know that Anders Lindback currently sports a .946 save percentage through five games played for the Stars. Unfortunately, that's the AHL affiliate in Cedar Park. In the NHL though he's doing a great job of making Kari Lehtonen's sub-par season look stellar.
The bigger disappointment of course has to be Ales Hemsky. With him and Jason Spezza becoming Stars within a few hours of each other this past summer, it was like Christmas in July. Two scoring lines that would be among the most dangerous in the league? I could hardly contain my excitement. And then Hemsky had visa issues and was unable to play in the first twenty games of the season. At least, I assume that's what happened, since he didn't show up for the first two months.
*da dum tshh!*
He did score a goal on a no look pass from the end boards off Henrik Lundqvist the other night though, so there's that.