After dealing with sloppy seconds, could the Stars rebound?

I'm a little late to this little SBN party - so in case you were wondering, my name is James and I occasionally swoop in with random Dallas Stars nuggets. I also enjoy long walks on the beach, crashing slumber parties and writing obnoxious puns.


Now that my Alcoholics Anonymous introduction is done, let's get to the dreadful little Dallas Stars. Part of the reason the Stars posting has been so light is that there's only so many ways to skin the 'ol "these guys suck balls" cat (Rudy, not sure how you've managed).

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It's looking like the Avery fiasco might allow the Stars to sidestep the lousy contract they gave the Unsavory One. In fact, there might even be an AHL team that will settle for the Stars' Cuthbertian table scraps.

With that seemingly behind them, the big question is: could the Stars actually claw their way to a playoff berth after all that's happened?

Maybe.

The bad news is, only the St. Louis Blues (27 points in 30 GP) are lower in the Western Conference than the Stars (28 points in 30 GP). At the same time, the bottom of the West is fertile ground for a rebellion.

Even though they have three more wins, the Wild are only 2 points ahead of the Stars and the cockroach-like Predators are only 3 points healthier as the current 7th-seed. Unfortunately, there are five other teams waiting in line to take those two spots. But the hole could be deeper.

Since Avery's last game against Edmonton, the Stars are a (relatively) productive 4-3. They've beaten some quality teams in that run, including a 3-1 victory over the Red Wings featuring a rare Marty Turco gem.

In fact, the best news for the Stars is that Turco might finally have his game back. His December stats are quite impressive: a 4-2 record, 1.96 GAA and 93.3% save percentage. It's a small sample, but it might be a good time for fantasy owners to send some trade offers while Turco owners are still nursing those early season wounds.

Looking at their upcoming schedule, there are some absolutely crucial stretches that will probably decide if the Stars end up on the playoff bubble or playing the lottery.

There's a brutal three-game home stand leading up to New Year's Eve with the Sharks, Ducks and Devils coming to town. And it gets even tougher once Americans start making (and immediately breaking) their New Year's resolutions: a four game road trip featuring Edmonton, Vancouver, Detroit and then Phoenix. Finally, there's another three games at home against Detroit, Buffalo and Los Angle-less.

Two games with Detroit and one game with the Sharks, Ducks and Sabres? Yikes.

If the Stars make it out of that 10 game span with 6 to 7 wins, who knows. They might just have a shot. What do you crazy cats think about the Stars' chances?

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