Good morning everyone, it is officially COLD in Texas. Thankfully, I work from home, so ha! Suck it, mother nature!
Anyway, there was a game last night and while the Stars commentary team called it a “disappointing loss” most of the fans I know were just happy to pick up the point.
All numbers courtesy of war-on-ice.com, 5v5, all score situations, unless otherwise noted.
- The Stars really respond well to adversity, don’t they? Finding themselves down a goal in the waning seconds of the second period, they reset, put Trevor Daley in front of the net, and just made a beautiful play to tie the game up. They were consistently stifled in the neutral zone, were smothered offensively (we’re a good multi-shot team usually, but Nashville shut that shit right down last night), and they still managed to drag the best team in the league into OT.
- Side Bar: How goddamn scary are the Preds this season? Christ, I am not looking forward to the two more games we play against them.
- SideBar 2: Pekka Rinne for Vezina. Calling it now.
- The Ruffle Shuffle went to town last night, making the controversial move of splitting up Benn & Seguin, but you know what? It worked. Now, Josh Liles at Defending Big D had been advocating for this, but as a method to get Benn (and Spezza) shooting instead of passing. While I’m not 100% on board with this particular conclusion, I do think the reason Ruff broke them up last night is one we need to be more cognizant of: when facing intense defensive pressure, it’s better two have two “top scoring” lines than one.
- Side Bar: Just look at the Blackhawks. There’s a reason that Kane & Toews usually aren’t on the same line these days.
- Dallas’ Penalty Kill had more pressure on the Nashville D than they did on the 5v5 at most times.
The Más o Menos
- Tyler Seguin did not score against Nashville last night. Nor did he score against Columbus, or even Chicago. Tyler Seguin, NHL leading scorer has only scored 3 goals in the last 11 games. So why am I not panicking? Well, the chart says he’s doing everything right.
- NOTE: Chart includes both 5v5 and PP goals, shots, and shooting %
- His Shooting % (Goals/Shots) was ridiculously high to start the season, topping out at an absurd 23.5% (from 11/8-12/6). It has recently started coming back down to earth, averaging just 12% since 11/28, but by no means is that a bad percentage (5v5, Phil Kessel is averaging 12.2% on the season).
- His PDO (aka “puck luck”) to start the season was well over 1 (with a 14 game high of nearly 1.07, from 10/28-11/25). It has started regressing back to normal levels, with a low point of .954 (from 11/28-12/31). Currently, he’s running at about a .98, so yes, recently he’s been a little bit unlucky, and the shots just aren’t bouncing his way.
- And, if you’ll notice, his shots/game average is on the rise. Clearly, he hasn’t gotten complacent. He’s not passing instead of shooting, he’s not only taking shots from the outside angles, he’s definitely doing what he can to get the puck to the net. So no, I’m not worried – Seguin should be back in the money soon.
- Now, I definitely think this chart has more to do with how well Nashville pressured us than how we actually played. There was a lot of smart defending last night, which is probably why we made it to OT instead of losing outright (well, that and the goalie interference call). Please note that I color coded the chart to correspond to the lines at the end of the night instead of how they started.
- Side Bar: The last time our team was collectively this bad at possession, we lost embarrassingly to Detroit. Thankfully, this was not the case last night.
- Side Bar 2: We were about due for the Rookies to have bad games, and unfortunately, they both cashed in last night. Klingberg especially had an awful game, being directly responsible for botched play that led to the Shea Weber goal in OT.
- Hemsky was benched for quite some time after his stupid hooking penalty, but still ended up with an average amount of ice time 5v5. He looked pretty dangerous post benching when he was put down on the 4th line.
- Our PP went 0/3 again. We are now 0/8 in the last three games (with no PP chances against Chicago). Get your shit together, guys.
- The Dallas 4v4 is abysmal. ABYSMAL. We can win in a shootout, but we cannot win 4v4. But it honestly doesn’t matter if it’s regulation or if it’s OT, we’re just BAD at 4v4. We did have a 4v4 chance against Chicago and guess what – they scored.
- Over the entire season, we’re at a 49% CF in 4v4 play. However, that includes two huge 4v4 blowouts against Carolina & Edmonton. If you remove top and bottom outliers, the percent drops to a grim 44%.
Playoff Race Update: Things actually look pretty good. As long as we keep picking up points in most of our games, ideally wins, but better OT than losses, we have a good shot at making the playoffs. The issue is that if we get that 8th seed (and that’s probably what it would be) we’ll be playing either the Preds or the Blackhawks – and we can’t play like we did tonight and make it to the second round.