Just over a week ago, the Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames were both charging hard toward the playoffs. They've done little to fortify their postseason aspirations since.
Having squandered several opportunities to improve their position in the Western Conference in the last week, the Stars and Flames open a critical home-and-home set Saturday afternoon in Dallas.
The Stars (40-29-5) are in eighth place in the West with 85 points and two games in hand on ninth-place Colorado, which has the same point total. Dallas entered Thursday's home game against Vancouver atop the Pacific Division, but a 2-1 loss coupled with wins by Los Angeles and Phoenix dropped the Stars a point behind the Kings and Coyotes. Dallas vaulted to the top of the Pacific thanks to a 10-0-1 stretch from Feb. 21-March 13 - which included a 3-2 shootout win in Calgary on March 4 - but is 1-3-0 since.
"We weren't as focused as we need to be this time of year," coach Glen Gulutzan said. "Ma...