Still smarting from that 3-0 loss? Me too. That sucked. Tonight is a greater challenge. The Dallas Stars are back and we are in their barn. Their record and our personal knowledge of their play tells us this is not your older brother’s Stars.

Pretty amazing how quickly the right coach and a system that plays to the players’ strengths can turn a franchise’s on ice success around.

Fascinating how the loss of a marquee player like Brad Richards has zero effect on the team’s success when the players buy into and execute the system.

While a long season still lay ahead and a lot can change, the Dallas Stars are making a persuasive case for themselves as a team with which to be reckoned. They also sure as hell look like a playoff team.

That brings us to this match.

In some respects, it is the perfect storm…but who’s blowing?

We just laid an egg against New Jersey after 3 consecutive shut outs. Quick is back in net. The boys better be pissed off about Tuesday’s performance and the Stars are the right team to take on and beat to show the 3-0 loss was an aberration.

Flip the coin and we are Dallas’ only loss in their last 7 starts – a game where they were shut out 1-0 after scoring 15 goals in the previous 5 games and again beating the Coyotes 3-2 in a shootout on Tuesday. That is an average of 3 goals per game for those scoring at home…if you remove their loss to us. You think they are up for this one? Kari Lehtonen, their undefeated 7-0 ace, is in net.

The LA Kings come in with some lineup changes.

Scott Parse jumps into a second line, left wing role. All together now…sigh…

Dustin Penner falls a floor to the third line.

Let’s play, “so which one is the shut down line?” No. I don’t want to play that but isn’t it fun to think of Penner in primarily a shut down, defensive role when his greatest asset (of which we have seen little to nothing) has been goal scoring? I agree. Nothing fun about that either. I know that one makes lemonade by squeezing lemons but I have yet to see any liquid sustenance dispense from squeezing a rock. A rock is better served being treated as one – pick it up, throw it, make contact and draw blood.

Lots of plot lines going into this game. The puck drops at 5:30pm.

GO KINGS!