The Stars face the Anaheim Ducks tonight to kick off a 3-game division themed road trip.
Both teams have got off to great starts on the young season having only lost one game apiece (interestingly, the second game each played) and each showing great mettle at home in particular.
The stellar play of Kari Lehtonen has so far been the key to everything the Stars have achieved to this point. We are however slowly but surely starting to see more individual effort throughout the team. Take one Sheldon Souray for example. The big man needs no real introduction but it has to be said there were question marks over his capability in the big league after having spent all of last season in the AHL. With 1 goal and 5 points so far it’s fair to say the 6ft 4in, 237lbs Alberta native has shown no signs of rust. Brought in to offer some punch from the blue line, he’s showing the league what it’s been missing with that cannon-like slapshot of his. Not afraid of mixing it up, he’s fitting right in with what Double G is trying to instill in this new look Dallas side.
Swedish left wing Loui Eriksson is also proving he is a heck of a player even without uber-pivot Brad Richards laying it on a plate for him. 3 goals, 4 points isn’t going to set the league alight perhaps but he’s still the same cool head on the puck and doesn’t seem fazed with playing on a lower line and in a system which isn’t really based on him being a centre-piece anymore.
Make no bones about it though, this is going to be all about the goalies with Anaheim’s own Jonas Hiller having stopped 73 of the 76 shots that have come his way through four games played.
A save % of .931 is perfectly sound and – while Lehtonen trumps him on pretty much every goalie stat there is – Hiller has proven his ability in this league time and again. It’s not quite on a par with the great Roy vs Brodeur / Hasek duels but as goalie match-ups go, this should be one of the best in the modern era.
What to watch for tonight: Dallas’ Steve Ott brings a five-game point streak into tonight’s divisional showdown and that man Souray has at least a point in all but one game thus far.