Leaders lead and followers follow. It's a pretty basic concept that the Stars needed to be reminded of coming into Wednesday's game against the Nashville Predators. Until this point the Stars had played well, but not well enough to gain the win in regulation.
Tonight that was not the case.
The Stars came out strong and put solid shots on Dan Ellis from the get go, so strong in fact that after three shots the Stars had a 3-0 lead. These first three goals were recorded by a couple of struggling Stars to this point. Brenden Morrow tallied the first, and less than a minute later Brad Richards scored. About three minutes later Loui Eriksson notched his second of the season.
Why is this so important in a game that had three more goals for Dallas?
Morrow, the heart and soul of the franchise hasn't seemed the same since his season-ending knee injury last season and has been trying to get back to his old way. Tonight Morrow seemed to have a jump in his step and his timing on shots appeared to be back to normal. He looked more than back to 100 percent scoring his second goal of the night on a Dallas powerplay.
Brad Richards followed Morrow's example and netted a second goal. Richards to this point has been far from struggling, leading the Stars so far this season in assists and points.
Loui Eriksson, last season's Stars goal scoring leader had only scored one goal until his ripple of the mesh against the Predators. He was then able to record another goal in the second for his third. If Eriksson can get his goal-scoring touch back, he could likely lead the Stars in scoring again.
In regards to followers, the grinding center Toby Peterson recorded a tip-in goal in the third period. If the Stars top players can keep up their scoring its likely the struggling players and low scorers will follow suit on the score sheet. Regardless, its always good to see third and fourth liners score in games.
If the Stars can gain many games where players score multiple goals the word unstoppable comes to mind if, and only if, the defensive side stays strong.
On the other side of the center ice line the Stars played great. The goose egg on the board was in large part due to playing what any coach would regard as good defensive hockey.
Stars forwards had a solid forecheck, and suffocated Predators players when they had the puck. The Stars defensemen played great, keeping great positioning and protecting Turco in net.
When the Stars went on the penalty kill, the NHL's worst stepped up to the challenge and made it difficult for Nashville to move the puck let alone score.
Finally, goaltending, and man was Turco solid in net. He seemed sharp and focused and the team in front of him made his job as easy as possible. This was important especially when it appears clear this could be Turco's final season to prove himself with Alex Auld waiting on the bench to take his place.
The Stars played a great game, and look to continue their point-gaining streak active against the Boston Bruins on Friday at 7:30pm central at the American Airlines Center. Many will remember last year's Bruins-Stars match turning into a boxing free-for-all. Things could be entertaining this year.
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 email@example.com.