The Stars are broke.
They lost their best player from a year ago, Brad Richards, to free agency.
They have a rookie coach, Glen Gulutzan, who’s only coaching experience has come in the East Coast Hockey League and the American Hockey League.
Don’t tell them that though, because the Stars became the first team in the NHL to 10 wins this season with a 5-2 drumming of the Carolina Hurricane on Sunday.
Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson lead the team with 15 points each, effectively replacing the offensive power provided by Richards in 2010. Meanwhile, newcomer defenseman Sheldon Souray leads the team in +/- at +10.
Besides Souray, who has been an incredible force early on this season, defensemen Niklas Grossman and Stephane Robidas have been steady, but players like Alex Goligoski have struggled so far.
Fortunately, goalie Kari Lehtonen has been a brick wall, with a 2.14 goals against average and a .936 save percentage, starting in all 10 wins this season.
The one smudge on an otherwise brilliant beginning are the two losses to division rival Los Angeles.
The Stars lost two games to the Kings in five days, 1-0 and 5-3. However, other bad losses have the Kings sitting fourth in the division, while the Stars are sitting atop the division with a three point lead over San Jose.
It’s going to be interesting to see if the Stars can keep up this momentum as the season progresses. As long as they stay healthy, I don’t see any reason for them to slow down.
Next on the schedule is 9-3-0 Washington, who many have projected to win the Stanley Cup this year. It will be the Stars first real test of the season, since playing back to back games against ’09 Cup winner Chicago to start the year.
We’ll regroup on the other side.