In this edition of Stars’ News & Rumors, Dallas fails to hit a franchise milestone, Ben Bishop plays his first game in 465 days, and an illness continues to find its way around the dressing room.
Stars Fall Short of Milestone…Again
Dallas tied the franchise-record winning streak at seven games with their 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Monday night. This marked the sixth time this has been reached throughout the history of Dallas and Minnesota. No team has ever won eight in a row. Unfortunately, that remains the case as the Stars watched the Vegas Golden Knights erase a two-goal deficit in the third period and skate away with a 5-4 win on Wednesday night. While this record was not a focus for the team, it would have been nice to finally get over that hump.
“It’s two points,” Stars head coach Rick Bowness said. “We dug ourselves a big hole and we dug ourselves out of it, and we just want to keep moving forward with it. We’re 4-5-1 on the road, and I think it’s important we get back up to that .500 mark on the road. If we take care of the process, the eight wins in a row will take care of itself.”
Dallas followed up that loss with another loss, this time at the hand of the Los Angeles Kings. Now, they are simply looking to get back in the win column once again.
Ben Bishop’s First Game Back
Ben Bishop was recently loaned to the Texas Stars on a conditioning stint to test out his knee following two surgeries. Thursday night marked his first game in 465 days as the Stars took on the Chicago Wolves in Austin.
The game itself did not quite go as planned, however. Bishop struggled to get back into the swing, allowing eight goals on 36 shots during a lopsided 8-4 loss. While it is sure to take time for Bishop to shake the rust off, this was definitely not the start he envisioned.
The AHL conditioning stint allows Bishop to play up to three games before Dallas needs to re-evaluate him. The Texas Stars rematch the Wolves at home on both Saturday and Sunday, so it is likely that he will get another chance right away.
Illness in Stars Dressing Room
During the Stars’ recent hot streak, there has been an unwanted guest in the dressing room. As it does during many NHL seasons, an illness has found its way into the Stars lineup. The bug has kept a few players out of games and has certainly thrown a wrench into the plans for Bowness and his staff on an ongoing basis.
“Well, put it this way. We’re going to have an extra defense and an extra forward for warmup tonight, just in case,” Bowness said this week. “Everyone was out there today. The coughing and hacking was cut down today measurably, so I think we’re getting there.”
While there were many factors that led to the back-to-back losses in Vegas and Los Angeles, health was certainly the largest one. On both nights, the Stars showed fatigue and a lack of the extra gear that has led to their most recent success. Overall, the team has dealt with the illness very well, winning nine of their last 12 games and greatly improving their standings in the league. However, I think everybody is ready for this bug to politely exit the dressing room for good.
Dallas will wrap up their current three-game road trip Saturday night with their first visit to San Jose since early 2019. After dropping the first two on the trip, it is vital for the Stars to find a way to steal two points in Northern California.
Sam Nestler is a Dallas Stars contributor for the ‘The Hockey Writers’. Growing up in New Jersey, Sam has been playing hockey since he was 7 years old. Developing a love for writing in college, Sam uses his hockey knowledge to create analyses and articles on every aspect of the game. Sam also hosts his own podcast on Spotify, the “Slapshot Sammy’ podcast, breaking down action across the NHL and NCAA. Check out the podcast here, and give his latest article a read!