|(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)|
It's not hard to name a player of the week for a team when that player has been recognized by the league as their player of the week in the same timespan. Center Justin Dowling was recognized by the league on Monday for an excellent week, and we'll recognize him likewise here.
While his 3 point night against Adirondack falls off the record, his record against Chicago and Milwaukee is strong enough to carry him through to the top of the heap this week. He had two goals and an assist in those contests and added the shootout game-winner in Milwaukee.
Dowling has been reunited with linemate Brett Ritchie this week, which has to increase his confidence level even further. With Brendan Ranford and Ritchie on either side, the band is back together from the early season and the Stars might have a very, very formidable second line, verging on having too much top six talent. It's a good problem to have as Dowling was a big part of last year's "top 9" that all could have been top 6 players. That's how you win championships.
A case could be made for Greg Rallo (2-2=4, +5) to be player of the week, but his goal total was inflated with an empty netter in Chicago and he didn't have any game winners. The plus-5 rating is impressive though.