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The Star’s 2019-2020 Roller Coaster Of A Season Has Dipped Of Late. Will Santa Help The Team Right Its Ship In Time For The Winter Classic?

Your Dallas Stars are limping into the holidays with all the speed of Dominick the Donkey. And, after Sunday’s 5-1 home loss at the hands of the Flames, the team is lucky indeed to have a few days off before returning to the ice on December 28.

The time off will provide newly minted head coach Rick Bowness the opportunity to take a step back and regroup some after having just watched his team struggle through a congested week of tightly scheduled contests and lose ground in the Western Conference standings.

Will Santa punish Jamie Benn and friends with a stocking full of coal for this week’s naughty play? Or will he ultimately reward the team for fighting hard and getting back into the playoff conversation after starting this season off so atrociously?

Wheels off as 2019 has been for this franchise, we have the feeling Jolly Old Saint Nick will be magnanimous with the bois in Victory Green.

Who’s Been Naughty?

‘Tis the season for generosity, and despite the squad’s spectacularly poor performance of late, we have little interest in highlighting the individuals for a team-wide malaise. There are plenty of culprits here: Unfortunate NHL scheduling, musical chairs with coaching and under reported injuries among them. (Something is up with Hintz, we’re sure of it.) So let’s be nice, y’all! While we aren’t exactly happy with the results we’ve seen of late, things could be worse for a Dallas team. Way, way, way, worse. Hey, Starbucks giftcards for everyone! $25, even!

Who’s Been Nice?

This Christmas, we’d like to take a moment to appreciate the work of our favorite little elf by remembering the ghosts of backup goalies’ past. Fact is, Anton “Dobby” Khudobin is without question the very best house elf and backup netminder the Dallas Stars have ever had. Our very own elf on a shelf has been unmercifully thrown in net in any and all situations — back-to-backs, off the bench, surprise starts and relief in the rare blowout. Through it all, Dobby possesses a sparkling .928 save percentage with a 2.31 goals-against average while backstopping the Stars to an 8-5-1 record this season. His Kazakhstanian fighting spirit is always present, regardless of the game’s current situation; his one-man show against the Tampa Bay Lighting last week to secure a 4-3 victory is certainly an example of the kind of effort we have come to expect from the guy. But what about ghosts of Christmas future? What will happen after Dobby’s contract expires this season and he possibly gets drafted by the Seattle Pigeons? Will 2017 first-round Stars pick Jake Oetttenger play Robin to Bishop’s Batman? Will he toil away in the minors like Landow Bow, or will he flame out like former blue chip Jack Campbell? Our hope is that Anton enjoys playing behind a team system eager to support its goaltenders and decides to extend his stay in Big D for as long as he shake it. The idea of another journeyman like Antti Niemi, Richard Bachman, Jhonas Enroth, or Tobias Stephan in net makes us shutter! SO SCARY!

What’s Next?

As the calendar turns to 2020, so too will the Stars be looking to turn around their fates. The next three games will be huge for this team.

  • Saturday, December 28, at 6 p.m. versus the Colorado Avalanche (HOME). When fully healthy, the Avs are one of the scariest offensives in the NHL. Here, the Stars look to bounce back against a stiff opponent.
  • Sunday, December 29, at 7 p.m. versus the Arizona Coyotes (AWAY): Oh, look! Another back-to-back! How cool! In this one, Dallas gets its first opportunity to see the recently acquired Taylor Hall in a ‘Yotes sweater. Arizona going all in this season, how bold!
  • Wednesday, January 1, at noon versus the Nashville Predators (HOME): The Cotton Bowl is ready! Preds fans are ready! Stars fans are ready! But will the weather cooperate for the first outdoor game in Stars history? We’re crossing our fingers and toes that the Winter Classic goes off without a hitch. As is, though, the extended forecast looks a bit iffy… 

Don’t rain on our Stars parade, OK?!?!?

Flip it. Stick it. See ya later, bye. — LehtMoJoe

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