One and six.
As Dallas Stars center Jason Spezza said, it’s not an ideal figure to glance at, but it will magically disappear once the regular season begins Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Coach Lindy Ruff said the Stars’ 1-6 preseason mark is already in the past as his team prepares for its regular-season opener.
“I think you learn from some adversity here,” Ruff said. “The adversity is, they’re looking at me wondering how I’m going to react to the preseason. The preseason is done for me. I’m not going to spend any time with the preseason.”
What has Ruff’s full attention are those first 20 or so games that, last season, saw the Stars dig a hole from which they ultimately couldn’t climb out.
Through the last three games of October and the entire month of November, the Stars posted a 5-9-3 record that included a seven-game losing streak.
“You can’t have a seven-, eight-game stretch where you don’t win hockey games,” Ruff said. “The math doesn’t add up in this league.”
The NHL season begins Wednesday.
Here’s a look at five Stars games to watch this season:
at Stars, Thursday,
A new season kicks off at the American Airlines Center as the Stars welcome Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby, who finished third in scoring last year with 84 points. Stars captain Jamie Benn claimed the Art Ross Trophy last season with 87 points, but after undergoing off-season hip surgery it’s uncertain if Benn will be back to full strength by opening night.
Edmonton Oilers at Stars, Oct. 13, 7:30 p.m.
The No. 1 overall pick from the 2015 NHL Draft, Connor McDavid, makes his first trip to Dallas. In three seasons with the Erie Otters of the OHL, McDavid recorded 97 goals and 188 assists in 166 games. McDavid was winner of the 2015 Red Tilson Trophy, given to the most outstanding player in the OHL.
Chicago Blackhawks at Stars, Dec. 22,
The season series against the reigning Stanley Cup champions begins in Dallas just days before Christmas. Three of the Stars’ off-season acquisitions — left wing Patrick Sharp, defenseman Johnny Oduya and goalie Antti Niemi — all won at least one Stanley Cup with the division rival Blackhawks at some point in the past five years.
Nashville Predators at Stars, Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m.
Continuing the Dallas tradition, the Stars close out the final few hours of 2015 with a New Year’s Eve tilt against a division foe. Nashville won the season series 3-2 last year and features defenseman Seth Jones, son of former Dallas Mavericks forward Popeye Jones. Seth played in all 82 games last season, his second in the NHL, posting eight goals and 19 assists.
Stars at Los Angeles Kings, April 2, 3 p.m.
This Saturday matinee could have serious playoff implications. The Kings and Stars finished as the first and second teams out of the Western Conference wild-card race, respectively. It’s also the first leg of the Stars’ final back-to-back of the season, as play at the Anaheim Ducks on April 3 at 8 p.m.
Dallas Stars Schedule
Date= Visitor/ Home= Time (CT) =TV Network
Thursday=Penguins at Stars= 7:30 p.m.= FSSW
Saturday=Stars at Avalanche= 8 p.m.=FSSW
Oct 13=Oilers at Stars= 7:30 p.m.=FSSW
Oct 15= Stars at Lightning= 6:30 p.m.=FSSW
Oct 17=Stars at Panthers= 6 p.m.=FSSW
Oct 20= Stars at Flyers= 6:30 p.m.=NBCSN
Oct 22=Stars at Penguins= 6 p.m.=FSSW
Oct 24= Panthers at Stars=7 p.m.=FSSW
Oct 27=Ducks at Stars= 7:30 p.m.=FSSW
Oct 29=Canucks at Stars=7:30 p.m.=FSSW
Oct 31= Sharks at Stars= 2 p.m.=FSSW
Nov 2=Stars at Maple Leafs= 6:30 p.m.=FSSW, TVAS
Nov 3=Stars at Bruins= 6 p.m.=FSSW+
Nov 6=Stars at Hurricanes=6 p.m.=FSSW
Nov 8=Stars at Red Wings=2 p.m.=FSSW
Nov 10=Maple Leafs at Stars= 7:30 p.m.=FSSW+
Nov 12= Jets at Stars= 7:30 p.m.=FSSW
Nov 14=Wild at Stars= 7 p.m.=FSSW+
Nov 17= Stars at Sabres=6 p.m.=FSSW
Nov 19=Stars at Capitals= 6 p.m.=FSSW
Nov 21=Sabres at Stars= 7 p.m.=FSSW
Nov 24=Senators at Stars= 7:30 p.m.=FSSW+
Nov 27=Canucks at Stars= 7:30 p.m.=FSSW
Nov 28=Stars at Wild= 7 p.m.=FSSW+
Dec 1= Stars at Flames= 8 p.m.=FSSW+
Dec 3=Stars at Canucks= 9 p.m.=FSSW, SN360
Dec 4= Stars at Oilers= 8 p.m.=FSSW+
Dec 8= Hurricanes at Stars= 7:30 p.m.= FSSW
Dec 11= Flyers Stars= 7:30 p.m.=FSSW
Dec 12= Stars at Blues= 7 p.m.=FSSW+
Dec 15= Blue Jackets at Stars= 7:30 p.m.=FSSW
Dec 17=Flames at Stars= 7:30 p.m.=FSSW+
Dec 19=Canadiens at Stars= 6 p.m.=FSSW+, HNIC, TVAS
Dec 21=Stars at Wild= 7 p.m.=FSSW
Dec 22=Blackhawks at Stars= 7:30 p.m.= FSSW+
Dec 26= Stars at Blues= 7 p.m.=FSSW+
Dec 27= Blues at Stars= 5p.m.= FSSW
Dec 29= Stars at Blue Jackets= 6 p.m.= FSSW
Dec 31= Predators at Stars= 7:30 p.m.= FSSW
Jan 2= Stars at Devils= 6 p.m.=FSSW+
Jan 3= Stars at Islanders = 4 p.m.= FSSW
Jan 5= Stars at Rangers= 6 p.m.=FSSW+
Jan 7= Jets at Stars= 7:30 PM FSSW
Jan 9= Wild at Stars= 7 p.m.=FSSW
Jan 15= Stars at Ducks= 9 p.m.=FSSW+
Jan 16= Stars at Sharks= 9:30 p.m.=FSSW
Jan 19= Stars at Kings= 9:30 p.m.= FSSW
Jan 21= Oilers at Stars= 7:30 p.m.= FSSW
Jan 23=Avalanche at Stars= 7 p.m.=FSSW
Jan 25= Flames at Stars= 7:30 p.m.=FSSW
Feb 2=Stars at Jets= 7 p.m.=FSSW
Feb 4=Stars at Avalanche= 8 p.m.=FSSW
Feb 6=Blackhawks at Stars= 7 p.m.=FSSW+
Feb 9= Stars at Wild= 7 p.m.= NBCSN
Feb 11= Stars at Blackhawks= 7:30 p.m.=FSSW
Feb 13=Capitals at Stars= 7 p.m.=FSSW
Feb 15= Stars at Predators= 7 p.m.= FSSW
Feb 16= Stars at Blues= 7 p.m.= NBCSN
Feb 18= Stars at Coyotes= 8 p.m.=FSSW
Feb 20=Bruins at Stars= 7 p.m.= FSSW
Feb 23= Stars at Jets= 7 p.m.=FSSW
Feb 25= Jets at Stars= 7:30 p.m.= FSSW
Feb 27=Rangers at Stars= 3 p.m.= FSSW
Feb 29= Red Wings at Stars= 7:30 p.m.=FSSW
March 1=Stars at Predators= 7 p.m.=FSSW+
March 4= Devils at Stars= 7:30 p.m.=FSSW
March 6= Stars at Senators= 4 p.m.=FSSW+
March 8= Stars at Canadiens= 6:30 p.m.=FSSW
March 11= Blackhawks at Stars= 7:30 p.m.= FSSW
March 12= Blues at Stars= 8 p.m.= FSSW
March 15= Kings at Stars= 7:30 p.m.= FSSW
March 17=Lightning at Stars= 7:30 p.m.=FSSW
March 19= Islanders at Stars 7 p.m.=FSSW
March 22=Stars at Blackhawks= 7:30 p.m.=FSSW
March 24=Stars at Coyotes= 9 p.m.= FSSW
March 26= Stars at Sharks= 3 p.m.=FSSW
March 29=Predators at Stars= 7:30 p.m.=FSSW
Mar 31= Coyotes at Stars= 7:30 p.m.=FSSW
April 2= Stars at Kings= 3 p.m.=FSSW
April 3=Stars at Ducks =8 p.m.=FSSW
April 7=Avalanche at Stars= 7:30 p.m.=FSSW+
April 9=Predators at Stars= 7 p.m.= FSSW+