By Allan Muir
Midway through the second period of last night’s 4-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks, a message appeared on the video board teasing a look at the new jerseys the Dallas Stars will be wearing in 2013-14. The news generated a buzz through the crowd of 9,000 or so diehards who’d been beaten into silence by another error-filled performance from the Stars.
The third period comes around, and finally, the big reveal. A curtain parts and out comes some idiot in a horse-head mask wearing the much-despised mooterus jersey from a decade ago.
Ha ha! April Fool’s! It’s a joke! Get it?
You know, if this had been a playoff team, or even one that was taking care of business instead of getting blown out at home for the third time in a week, maybe this bit works. Instead, the ill-conceived gag served to perfectly encapsulate the 2013 Dallas Stars: Tease something big, then spectacularly under-deliver.
The Stars, well, new owner Tom Gagliardi, made the mistake last summer of believing a couple of 40-somethings like Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney would push this close-but-no-cigar squad back into the playoffs.
It hasn’t worked. There have been bright spots in this roller coaster season–a 2-0 win in Los Angeles two weeks ago comes to mind–but there have been too many passionless efforts like the one last night. And so, with the team on the verge of making it five consecutive years without a sniff of the postseason, the Stars surely realize it is time to start the fire sale.