1.27.15 – Stars vs Canadiens Game Recap (Avec Des Graphiques)

I’ve given myself the challenge today of not using any cursing in this recap, even though it totally deserves it, because maybe the creativity will get my mind off how…farcical…last night’s moral victory was. Also, check that sweet French in the title. It’s almost like high school wasn’t a waste of time.

Per usual, all numbers from war-on-ice, 5v5, all score situations.

The Good

  • Patrick Eaves played his first game back from injury last night, and boy howdy was he ready to make an impact (and did he ever). He was arguably the best guy on the power play last night, with 4 scoring chances to his name, was dangerous in his role as the net front guy on the Benn-Seguin line, and had monster possession numbers.
    • Side Note: Trevor Daley was back from injury as well, and after a bit of a rough start in the first (he & Schlemko were on ice for that first goal), was back to his usual self, and especially was a key piece on the last power play.

1.27 Stars vs MTL Corsi_ZSO

  • Clearly, everyone on this chart had a massive game at the 5v5 level. At this point, though, does it really matter?
    • Side Note: 4th line here really does deserve some love, as Fiddler had 5 SOG at even strength and Moen & Sceviour chipped in another 3.
    • Side Note 2: Jamie & Tyler also deserve a shout out here, because they were electric. Benn’s last second goal is the reason we all watch this…frustrating…game. And how beautiful was Seguin’s pass to Eaves on the PP? That goal isn’t scored without his vision.
  • …Felonious…Carey Price. He was the first star of the night, deservedly so.
    • Side Note: I am beyond sick of losing the goaltending battle. You can literally chalk the last four losses up to that. Price last night, Rask with Boston, Pavelec’s best game of the year for Winnepeg, and Varlamov with Colorado. 3 out of 4 of those teams are top ten in Goals Against per game (with Montreal at #3 in the league).
    • Side Note 2: The Stars managed to win against Chicago (#2) and push Nashville (#1) to OT, so there’s clearly some consistency they’re missing when going against these top teams.

The Más o Menos

  • On the other side of that goaltending battle, we have Kari. Last night certainly wasn’t his worst performance, and he definitely made a couple of necessary saves, especially on the PK, but you have to think: if he had made just one more save – the Stars would’ve picked up a point.
  • In Podcast 3, Merrin & I go on a long rant about “playing through injury” and Jason Spezza went on to prove our point. He definitely broke his nose last night, but other than that his play seemed at a normal level. He hit his head pretty hard though, so I’m very conflicted about how I feel with him coming back into the game so quickly.

The Bad

1.28 PP ranked

  • Our…futile…power play. Listen, I know we did actually (amazingly) score on the power play, but it came after the Stars completely wasted a…fruitless…5-on-3 that was a minute and forty-five seconds long. You know it’s bad when I’m pulling out charts from NHL.com to make my case. We’re in the company of such dynamic offenses as Edmonton and Florida when it comes to power play success, and this team needs to be better than that. We are fourth in the…full…league in Goals Per Game, for heaven’s sake!
    • Side Note: There was only 42.2 minutes of even strength time in last night’s game. Special Teams are the reason we lost, no bones about it.
  • It just didn’t get done. As I mentioned before, this is the 4th game in very recent history that the Stars have lost because they’ve been out goaltended. This is a trend, and it needs to stop. It does no one any good to put up 60+% Corsi numbers if you’re also not getting the wins. Get to the net, take the shots, force the turnovers, whatever it takes to get that extra goal. Close isn’t good enough at this stage in the game.
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