Veteran Stars forward Loui Eriksson not worried that he's had trouble finding the net lately.
By STEVE HUNT FS Southwest
FRISCO, Texas --
Loui Eriksson definitely knows it goes with the territory. As a goal scorer, sometimes it seems as if the opposing net is so wide open one could drive a Mack truck through the crease while there are other times where nothing a goal scorer does seems to result in the biscuit hitting the back of the basket.
Well, the veteran Stars forward is definitely experiencing the latter right now, with just one goal in his last nine games for Dallas. But he knows that such ebbs and flows are all part of being a goal scorer in the National Hockey League.
"It does happen. I've been in these situations before. All you can do is work to be better and just try to create chances and shoot it more," Eriksson said after practice on Wednesday. "We all get in those situations sometimes and you just have to work out of it."
But it's not like he hasn't been making a contribution to his club on the ice. He has chipped in four assists during this current nine-game stretch where his only goal came in a 3-1 win over the Ducks on Feb. 8 at American Airlines Center and while some might be concerned that through 16 games he sits at minus-6, he also isn't too worried about his numbers right now.
Instead, the highly-optimistic Swede is keeping his focus on staying the course, doing what he always does in terms of his daily approach to the game and as long as he does that, he knows the goals will come in due time.
"That's just part of it. You have to try to get better and not think too much about it. You have to go out and do what you're good at and stay positive. That's the best thing to do when you're in this situation," Eriksson said.
Alex Goligoski has been teammates with Loui for the last few seasons and while he has noticed that his shots just aren't going in for him right now, he too isn't worried in the least, especially since the 2011 NHL All-Star still seems to be creating his fair share of quality scoring chances for the Stars during this stretch.
"It was last game or whatever that he could have had two or three goals. He's had some good chances. That's obviously what you look for. It gets streaky with scorers. It wouldn't be surprising if he rattles off five straight. That's the way it goes," Goligoski said. "I'm sure Loui will be fine with the way he works, he's going to get his chances."
Of course, the thought of his current situation quickly swinging the other way definitely perked Eriksson up, especially since he's seen it firsthand many times, not just with his own game but also with countless teammates.
"For sure, it always happens. Sometimes you get easy goals and sometimes you don't. Usually when you're on a hot streak, that's when you get those easy goals too. Right now, I don't find anything out there too easy," he said. "Like I said, I've just got to work hard, try to shoot more and get more chances in front of the net."
Dallas heads into Thursday night's game with Vancouver seeking atonement of sorts after a disappointing 4-3 loss to Calgary on Sunday afternoon, a defeat which started off the Stars' current three-game homestand on a sour note.
The Stars were just two days removed from a huge comeback win over the Canucks at Rogers Center last Friday, when despite trailing 3-1 early in the final frame, Dallas ended up leaving Vancouver with two points after a solid 4-3 win.
But after the loss to the Flames, Stars second-year head coach Glen Gulutzan gave his players the day off on Monday and has had solid and spirited practices each of the last two days, something that's just fine with one of the key offensive cogs on his current roster.
"It feels like we've just been playing games. It's nice to have a few days to learn, move forward and try to be better," Eriksson said. "The practices we've been having I think have been good. The things we've been doing wrong, we have to clean that up and play better. That's what we've tried to work on in these practices."