After a well put together win in Detroit on Wednesday night, the Stars flew home to do battle with the Columbus Blue Jackets, but appears that they left a bag in the Motor City; the bag containing the Stars' ability to play on home ice.
In one of the more one-sided games this season, the Stars were downed by the Jackets 4-1. Even more impressive, the Stars have generally always been able to count the Jackets as a win since Columbus joined the league, yet no watchful eye could tell that from Thursday's performance.
What's even more insulting is the fact that three of the four Columbus goals came on the man advantage, and the other came short-handed. Can anyone else find an issue here?
If that doesn't make a good, loyal Stars fan sweat a bit then I have information that will. To anyone who has witnessed a game at the American Airlines Center, you know it's a great venue, always a great crowd, and always die-hard supportive. Yet the Stars post a better record outside of Dallas.
At home, the Stars post a 3-3-3, and a record of 6-3-3 on the road. It is true the Stars have been on the road a lot, but the road trip is supposed to be when the wheels fall off, not in front of the home fans.
Even more concerning is the fact that the Stars now play seven of their next nine at home, four of which will be in a row. Anyone else not liking the way the evidence points here?
Sure, the Stars simplify things on the road, that much is clear. Possibly, their focus is better after the long trip, or the team even finds relaxation in the luxury suites they enjoy. Problem is this is a team that's supposed to win in front of their fans, not the other guy's.
The Stars need to learn what is working on the road can work at home. Simplify, don't take stupid penalties, and above all, keep it simple. These tried and true parts of their game have been successful on the road, and for their three wins on home ice.
The Stars consistently put a great product on the ice, and this team is one of the most talent-packed I have seen in years, yet they struggle every other game.
All I know is, after this seven of nine if the Stars don't have their mind together and play like they should I'll pay attention to the baby stars. Not only are AHL tickets cheaper, the Texas Stars also actually win games in Cedar Park (north of Austin)!
The Stars face the New Jersey Devils at 7 PM at American Airlines Center. For those interested in Texas Stars' product they face the Milwaukee Admirals Friday night at Ceder Park Center at 7:30 PM.