When Stars fans woke up Thursday morning after the team's late night in Western Canada, Dallas had put together three wins in their last four games, evened their record at 5-5-1, and seen their top-two centers on the ice at the same time paying dividends.

It's enough to allow yourself a little peek at the standings just 11 games in to know that Dallas is right back in the thick of things.

Players and coaches, however, cannot afford such luxuries in a shortened season. Not when the available metrics and information say that they have such a long way to go with a very, very stout Anaheim Duck team coming to town Friday.

"We know we can play better than this," said Jamie Benn in the Edmonton visitors locker room. "We have to keep focused on getting better."

Looking at the trends in the game log, it still jumps out at you that the Stars have been out-shot 11 times in 11 games. It still jumps out at you that they've given up many more power plays than they've earned (54-36), and been short-handed more within a game eight times.