We're all human-beings and we lead lives away from the sport we love so much that we spend hours writing about. I hope you guys enjoy this as much as David did. If you're not familiar with our colleagues over at Defending Big D, they cover the Dallas Stars and anything related to the organization; so the Texas Stars, prospects, league talk, etc.
I was incredibly fortunate to be in Dallas for a game on November 28th for my birthday weekend. I got a real sense of what a non-traditional hockey market truly is. I can see why the team of men and women over at DBD are passionate about the Stars. The AAC in downtown Dallas is beautiful, the team is full of talent despite some short-comings this season, and the fans are so passionate. They love this franchise and it was a real privilege to be there.
So here we go! My questions, his answers:
Tell me who you are and what your life story is.
My name is David Wilson, and I'm really just your typical Stars fan. I was born in Botswana to an English family, moved to Texas as a child for some obscure reason, and then lived in England after school, before moving to Seattle and then Hong Kong. Currently I reside in Reno, Nevada, working as a roaster and barista for a specialty coffee company here. And yes, it is as amazing a job as it sounds.
How the hell are the Stars in the negative goal differential? What's the problem in Dallas this season for those who aren't familiar?
The Stars play in a very religious part of the world, and have really taken some of that to heart. You know, like "The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away." Only the Stars haven't gotten past the give-thing part, except for the occasional time when Kari Lehtonen taketh away.
In their last 5 losses, four of which came on the trot, the Stars gave up 5 goals against in each of them. Contributing to the Stars sitting dead last in the league in goals against average. Yes, even below your friends and neighbors the Oilers. Kinda hard to maintain a decent goal differential when even the Edmonton defense looks competent next to yours.
On the offensive side of things, the Stars sit 8th in the league.
Not so bad, except that Tyler Seguin on his own would probably sit 9th in the league. The rest of the team just hasn't been chipping in like they were supposed to. That great off-season acquisition of Ales Hemsky? He waited about 20 games before his point total could be read as a plural, no seriously, and the drop off in point totals after the big 3 of Seguin, Jamie Benn, and Jason Spezza is pretty drastic.
Do you feel that the Mark Messier hit to Mike Modano and then being dropped while on a stretcher has caused him to go insane?
If Mike Modano is an example of insanity, then I wouldn't mind going off the rails a bit later on in my life too. No, thankfully there was no lasting damage from that incident. It might have left him with some leaky tear ducts, but that's all...
Is the ice in the American Airlines Centre made of Mike Modano's tears?
Not at all! Everybody knows that salt lowers the freezing temperature of water, jeez. So you know, it's actually quite the opposite of this. The ice team had to put in extra work to make sure there weren't puddles on the ice when Modano was playing, as he was constantly de-icing the rink any time there was an emotional moment. Very few people know this, but the Ice Girls were originally created to keep the ice surface free of tears.
On a side note, if you're not touched emotionally every time Mike Modano breaks down, then you have no soul.
Tell me about this boy John Klingberg, why is a portion of the media raving about him?
If there's only a portion of the media raving about him, then it's simply because the rest of the media hasn't been paying enough attention. You know how they say it's a steeper learning curve for defensemen entering the NHL? And how you expect rookies to be a little edgy, need time to settle in? On John Klingberg's first shift in the NHL, he deked around an opposing forward at his own blueline, and carried the puck into the offensive zone on the attack.
To put it simply, anybody watching a Stars game without knowing the lineup would think he was one of the veterans on the D-corps. He's so calm out there on the ice! Now, granted, the Stars have a defense on the younger side, but comparing Klingberg to the other rookies like Jamie Oleksiak and Jyrki Jokipakka, it's been remarkable.
And oh my giddy aunt but did you see his first NHL goal?! How often do you see a defenseman do something like this?
Mike: He seems pretty cool.
The Stars are 7 points back from Calgary, do you feel the Stars have what is needed to make it to the playoffs again?
I'm starting to sound a bit like a Polyanna on this one, but yes, I do. The Stars have had one of the worst records in the league at protecting leads, and yes, I get it, they sit in the cellar of that category with an assembly of the worst teams in the league, but their possession numbers are right about even, and they still have the pieces of an explosive offense, while Kari Lehtonen in the past has been able to play at a much higher level.
Who knows. 7 points back at this point in the season and it's already becoming a tall order. But let's be honest, the Calgary Flames are going to be leaving a nice little playoff spot vacuum needing to be filled pretty soon, yeah?
Do you think Jim Nill is crazy in hindsight of some of his deals in the off-season?
I wish I did, but I still just don't get it. On paper we looked amazing. And that wasn't just Stars fans saying it. The Stars were the cool pick in pre-season rankings. However, there is a bit of looking back at the deals that Jim Nill didn't make.
He brought in a couple of nice new shiny toys in Spezza and Hemsky, but he didn't do anything with the already shaky defense, and the two goaltenders signed to compete for the backup position have both so far, well... let's just say Martin Brodeur would have been better.
I can see Nill's motivation with not doing anything drastic on defense, as there are a lot of young guys waiting in the wings. Which means next year, or possibly the year after that, the Stars defense could become a bit more formidable. And Patrik Nemeth's arm nearly getting sliced off early in the season certainly didn't help. But yeah, I guess there's a little bit of 'what the hell? going through the minds of Stars fans as we look back on that conscience decision to not change what has become the worst defense in the league.
What does David Wilson eat at a game in Dallas?
You must remember that David Wilson has actually spent very little of his Stars fandom actually living in a place even remotely close to Dallas. As such, he rarely eats on the occasional time he does make it to a game, as he's just so darned excited to be there he doesn't want to leave his seat! Now, if friends bring him a steady stream of ale, that is entirely acceptable.
Nothing else to add. This has been an absolutely miserable experience, and I can only hope that a resounding win by the Stars in tonight's game washes the sour taste of it from my mouth. Oh, and everybody check out Mike's responses to our questions over at Defending Big D, because he did a hell of a job!