Just how patient can the Dallas Stars ask the fans to be?

That's the dilemma at hand as the Dallas Stars prepare for Friday night's game against the Phoenix Coyotes, hoping to end a four-game losing streak that has pretty much erased all of the preseason optimism and "buzz" that existed the last time the Coyotes were in town.

It doesn't help that the Dallas Stars were just losing; this is a team that has actually looked progressively worse with each game that has passed. The defense is struggling, the offense can't score goals and the team can't stay out of the penalty box - despite some very precise offseason moves made in part to address that particular issue.

The only thing that Stars fans can feel good about right now is that Kari Lehtonen is perhaps the best goaltender in the NHL so far this season, and even that fact is frustrating to think about.

This was supposed to be a new era for the Dallas Stars. This was supposed to be a new team going in a new direction, adding big pieces like Derek Roy and Ray Whitney and Jaromir Jagr, while finally getting to see some of the young players in significant roles in the NHL. This was going to be a faster and more aggressive team, an exciting and more balanced offense than what we've seen the past few seasons.

Instead, for some, it feels like the same old thing all over again -- and that has fans frustrated, angry and already calling for changes.

Mike Heika had a great article up yesterday, written in the small hours following that dud of a loss against Detroit, that the Dallas Stars organization is going to remain positive, going to push forward...and ask for even more patience from the fans.