When the lockout-abbreviated 2013 schedule came out, one of the first things that struck people who looked at the Dallas Stars games was the number of road contests early in the season.

Indeed, the Stars had 10 of their first 15 games on the road and one of the most compressed early schedules, being one of the first teams to reach the 10, 12 and 15 game milestones.

Things could have gone horribly wrong, especially for a team with a large number of changes in the top six and one or two rookies on defense in any given game. And while the Stars certainly have games in their opening stretch they want back (see: at the Minnesota Wild in the second game), they can now say they survived this opening stretch without too much harm done.

Indeed, I think had you asked me before the season if I would have taken a .500 record out of the stretch, I would have said yes, especially given the ongoing status of the Jamie Benn contract negotiations that eventually kept him out for five games.