On Friday night the Dallas Stars recorded their first win by handing the Calgary Flames their first loss. The Flames are still (out of the gate) one of the best teams in the West and will likely stay a top team, so what does the win tell us about the '09-'10 Stars?
First off, Friday night's game was one of the most complete games the Stars have put together in over a year. They played like a team fighting for a championship, not a team trying to reclaim its identity.
It shows us the team is moving in the right direction. I may be jumping the gun, but with the evidence presented I, and other fans, have no reason to worry.
Secondly, we got a glimpse of Alex Auld, good Lord was he amazing in net! The goaltending woes of the Stars appear to be over thanks to the addition of Auld from Ottawa during the summer. It's been said Auld will likely see three of every 10 games for Dallas this season, enabling Marty Turco to rest and focus more on his preparation.
Third, the Stars head into Vancouver happy and relaxed after recording a win in Calgary. Unlike Calgary, Vancouver won't be tired, so the game will likely be a bit tougher. However, with the lessons learned in Alberta, this team is capable of knocking off a talented team like the Canucks.
Another point to make regarding the travel westward is that some fans believe Auld will again be in the net for the Vancouver game. This will not happen. Crawford will play Turco because that's what all the media guys with the team are feeding me. Additionally, Marty Turco is still the number one goalie, and will be treated as such by the staff.
Fourth, Dallas' defense was near flawless, aside from the puck deflection off a defenseman's skate that led to the first Calgary goal in front of Auld. The defense played well on both sides, providing support to the offense while protecting Auld. They looked focused and showed a lot of chemistry, which is impressive considering the number of youth and new players on the back end.
Finally, after naming a point for each Dallas goal, I have the most important note of all.
If Dallas plays each night like they did against Calgary, a playoff berth is a sure thing, and a Stanley Cup wouldn't be far off. However bear in mind, for Dallas to be that championship caliber team, they have to play the exact same way in Vancouver.
One game at a time, we'll see what this team truly is. Here's hoping they're not being deceiving.
Ken Armer is a Community Leader for the NHL and the Dallas Stars for Bleacher Report. He also covers the Anaheim Ducks for SoCalSportsHub.com and covers the Texas and Dallas Stars for Hockey54.com. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org