Stars Sliding From Playoff Picture

The team is left looking tired after a season of injury, distraction

With eight games left and the Stars out of the playoffs by five points, there still exists a chance that they will get into the playoffs in the eighth spot, and play Detroit or San Jose in the first round. 

But after the shootout loss to Los Angeles on Thursday night, as the “Magic 8 Ball” might say, “all signs point to no.”
 
Dallas sweated out three scoreless periods and an overtime period before losing to the Kings in a shootout, on a goal that was not initially called on the ice, but reviewed and counted shortly thereafter.

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It was a tough game, harsh, and the Stars didn’t necessarily look bad; but it’s easy to recognize a hungry team on the precipices of playoff contention and ready for a late run at this point of the year, and Dallas doesn’t have that look.
 
See: blown opportunities in front of goal. See: a general lack of thirst for a team that, perhaps, found itself exhausted trying to deal with injuries and an ugly start.
 
It’s hard to tell where the blame should go; Marty Turco has had a rough and inconsistent season, but then, these things happen when you are an NHL net-minder. Dave Tippett, outside of Turco, perhaps, seems the most obvious scapegoat, but he has done enough in the way of handling bad breaks and distractions, probably,  to buy himself another, less cursed year.
 
Dallas will play two of their last eight games against teams with whom they are in direct competition for a playoff spot in St. Louis and Minnesota. Minnesota pounded the Islanders 6-2 on Wednesday; St. Louis beat Vancouver 4-2 last night.
 
In these games, you will see a certain something in the two aforementioned teams, a certain swagger, a thirst, an “us against the world” mentality.
 
Whatever it is, it seems, unfortunately, that the Stars don’t have it.
 
Not this season.
 
Chalk it up to injuries and a foul first month of the season. But last night, at the American Airlines Center, the Stars looked an awful lot like a team who is ready to cut their losses and forget this season ever happened.
 
Hopefully, in time, we can too.
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