Tough Times in Dallas and Colorado

So the wheels really seem to be falling off the Sean Avery Experiment in Dallas.

This week’s mailbag with Stars beatwriter Mike Heika is practically all questions from fans asking about how and why Avery is ruining the team. Heika is very good about not putting the Stars troubles on Avery, but Avery’s salary does make it harder for the Stars to fix their problems.

The good news for Dallas is that defenseman Sergei Zubov was out at practice yesterday and could be back Friday. But is that enough?

Don’t forget. Before Dallas’ surprise surge into the playoffs last season, coach Dave Tippett’s job was on the line every game. This season he’s dealt with a lot of injuries and some awful goaltending, but he also hasn’t integrated his GMs’ big off-season acquisition into the Stars system, and that’s really on Tippett. He needs to reach his team – everyone on his team – soon, or he might find himself out of a job. I don’t know if Tippett knows this, but you can’t fire the whole team.

Things aren’t going so great in Colorado, either. In fact, the only real consistency over their 5-7 record has been their inconsistent play. While goaltending has also been an issue for the Avs, Terry Frei says Peter Budaj is not the root of Colorado’s problems. Of course, Frei then goes on to suggest the Avs trade for Nikolai Khabibulin, so it’s not a ringing endorsement.

Of course, another issue for Colorado has been Joe Sakic’s production: he has just two goals on the season. I haven’t watched enough of the Avs to diagnose Sakic’s problem, but knowing his temperament, he’ll fight his way out of the slump or die trying.