The schedule has been road heavy for the Dallas Stars the first few weeks of the season, and this week will be no different. The Stars are on the road in Western Canada for three games in four days, starting with a tilt against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday. They’ll play in Calgary on Wednesday and at Vancouver on Friday.
“It’s a real tough road trip for us,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “We’re back-to-back and then we’re heading to Vancouver, which has won five in a row. We’ve had a good week here, we’ve had some rest and we’re ready to go back.”
The Stars hit the road on a bit of a roll. They’ve won three straight games and four of their last five, pushing them to 6-5-1 on the season.
“We want to keep this going here,” said Stars center Jamie Benn. “We want to put a longer streak together and get as many points as we can.”
After playing seven games in the first 11 days of the season and then another stretch of five games in eight days, the Stars got a little break over the weekend. They took Saturday off before going through two full practices on Sunday and Monday.
“It was our first day off where we didn’t have a flight or anything,” said Gulutzan. “If you look at training camp until that day – I don’t know how many days had passed – it was nearly a month before we had a day off. It was really good to get the day, not only mentally, physically and just to get away from the rink.”
The Stars, who lost four of their first five on the road this season, have won two straight away from home. Their last road win came against Tuesday’s opponent – the Oilers. They’ll see the Flames and Canucks for the first time this season.
“We’ve got to go into these buildings and play a simple game,” said Benn. “Control the game, take their fans out of it. Just be a consistent team, every shift, every period, every game.”
This road trip will conclude a stretch that will have seen the Stars play ten of their first 15 games on the road. Moving forward they’ll have five of the next seven, nine of the next 13 and 14 of the next 20 at home.
Stars forward Jamie Benn has been on a roll lately, and that earned him NHL honors. Benn was named the league’s Second Star of the Week after notching four goals and two assists in three games last week.
“It’s pretty cool. I guess I have a little bit of bragging rights around here now,“ Benn said after Monday’s practice in Frisco. “I’ve got to give credit to my teammates, Brenden (Morrow) and (Jaromir) Jagr. We’ve clicked the last couple games and found some chemistry.”