TORONTO - The Dallas Stars have been anything but consistent this season, but they have a winning record almost a quarter of the way for the season.
For a rebuilding team considered a fringe candidate to make the playoffs this year, that's good news.
The Stars lost 4-1 in Toronto against the Maple Leafs on Monday—their second loss in a row—but their 10-8-1 record puts them in a pretty good position in the tight Western Conference.
The Stars are 12th in the West, but have a games in hand on a few of their rivals and are just four points out of fifth place.
"We're growing as a group and hopefully we'll figure it out," said Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen.
The first thing the Stars might want to figure out is how to achieve some consistency. Dallas has been all about hot streaks and losing skids this season.
Dallas had a great start, winning its first four contests, then losing once and winning once. Then the Stars lost three in a row.
That was followed by dizzying run of highs and lows: a three-game winning streak, a three-game losing streak, two more wins and now two more losses.
"The good thing about this sport is that you get a chance to go out and do it again the next night," said Stars coach Marc Crawford.
"We've just got to make sure we prepare and get ready for games properly."
The Stars have a chance to start another winning streak—or extend their current skid—when they visit Ottawa to play the Senators on Wednesday.
With nine of their next 14 games away from home, some success and consistency on the road would be very beneficial. Dallas is 7-3-1 on home ice, but are 3-5-0 when they leave Texas.
"We've got to work on our starts and we've got to start winning some road games," said Stars centre Brad Richards. "The West is too tight to keep losing on the road."