2.5.15 – Stars vs Lightning Game Recap (Nothing Special About Our Special Teams)

Trying to think of new and different ways to say the same thing. We got out goaltended. Again. By their back up. Again.

51st verse, same as the first. A little bit sadder and a whole lot worse.

Standard disclaimers apply: numbers taken from war-on-ice, all situations, 5v5 unless otherwise specified.

Here, have a graph.

(Carolyn posted it at the bottom, idk.)

 
First period

Lighting First

As you can see by this graph, I was distracted for a period of time after Jamie took a high stick to the face from JT Brown by a) worrying about his eye b) being reassured that it was just a cut to his eyebrow c) yelling about why he doesn’t wear a visor and d) assuring people on twitter that he was fine.

It was a rough time.

FullSizeRender (2)

BUT HEY let’s talk about those goals, eh??

The first one. The first one. THE FIRST ONE. Literally, what the fuck, Kari. I think a snail carried that goal across the goal line. He was already down in butterfly, he just turned his head and watched it. Anyway. That’s a drum we’ve been beating for a while. Goalie issues, we know we got ‘em.

The second was just a slapshot from the top of the zone. Like. Kari was kinda screened by Callahan but it he wasn’t even looking, really.

The first was incredibly frustrating for a couple of reasons. First and foremost: two goals on two shots. Talk about demoralizing right off the bat. And who did we have as backup if Ruff decided to pull Kari?  Jussi Rynnas, because Lindback is still down in Cedar Park. As previously discussed on the podcast and probably in previous recaps, Rynnas is a great AHL goalie, but hardly one to steal a game for the Stars. Second: We only had 4 more shots than the Lightning, but most of those Bolts shots came in the second half of the period. For the first ten minutes we held them to four shots? I think? While we peppered their rookie backup goalie. Andrei Vasilevskiy has exactly five games to his credit and we are now his fourth win. We made him the story in the first period and I’m really, reeeeeeeally tired of making other team’s backups the stories of the game.

Tweet of the first:

So true, bud. So true. Help us, Obi-Wan, you’re our only hope.
 
Second period

Lightning Second

Kari seemed to find his groove in the second, which was great. You’ll see a high point in the early part of the period was a baller save he made on what could have been a DISASTROUS line change/turnover for the Stars. Eakin loses the puck at the opposing blue line, Filppula’s still in position down in our end, long pass that wasn’t capable of being broken up by ANYONE because we were all LINE CHANGING and then all of a sudden it’s Filppula against Kari all alone and I’m just praying he makes the stop. Which he does, because he got so much shootout practice last game. So yay! Practice makes perfect! It could have been a really demoralizing goal for the Lightning, and that save kept the Stars in it.

THEN. THANKFULLY. #KlingbergForCalder comes through with a MONSTROUS goal. Seriously, it was beautiful. He gets the pass from Tyler Seguin and he’s just all alone in front of the net. He shows the patience of an experienced vet just holding onto it while Morrow slides in front of him to block it. He doesn’t release until Morrow slides past and just. Top shelfs it like a pro. Seriously, it was a beautiful goal.

Fifteen seconds later Goligoski scores on a deflection from Fiddler and we’re back in the game. A note on Fiddler: I’m so fucking happy he extended with this team. He can be a game changer when he takes over, and he really helped swing the momentum in the second.

 

Third period

Lightning Third

Lots of ups and downs in the third, obviously. Daley led our possession in the third and it showed with some RIDICULOUS chances early on. It was sweet sweet justice for him when he got the game tying goal after Johnson pulled TBL ahead again on a pp goal.

Like. When this game is talked about later, it’s going to be a story of goaltending and special teams, the two weakest parts of the Stars’ game this whole season. The Stars had four power play opportunities in the first and second that they couldn’t capitalize on.

Oh, also OFFICIATING. So Jamie takes the high stick to the face in the first. It draws blood which, if a penalty had been called, should have been a double minor. Instead, all of the officials shrug because apparently NONE OF THEM were actually, you know, watching the damn game. (Would we have scored on the power play? Who knows.) In this period, Jamie straight up gets tackled by Brian Boyle (I’ve seen people say it was a body check. I wasn’t aware that you were allowed to do those with your hands? I thought BODY was the operative word in BODY CHECK.) and again, nary a whistle. I’m pretty sure the refs and I weren’t actually watching the same game.

The part that REALLY annoys me the most about the Boyle tackle is that the takeaway led directly to Tyler Johnson’s second goal. That tackle gets called, it’s still a 3-3 game and the Stars go on the power play. Unlike the high stick in the first, this is a GAME CHANGING blown call. Could even be a season changing blown call if the Stars only miss by a couple of points.

Kari gets pulled for the extra man with a minute left and of course, because this is the Stars and nothing seems to bounce our way at home, Kucherov gets the empty netter and that’s all she wrote.

 

Takeaway

Stars’ record on the road is currently better than their record at home. Currently 11-11-6 at home and 12-9-2 on the road. It’s not a big difference, but that in itself is kinda weird. Your guess is as good as mine as to why that is, except this is a team that likes to be the underdog. They need to figure out how to win when the cards aren’t stacked against them.

And also, seriously. Seriously seriously we’ve been saying it all season. Goaltending and special teams.

Also this:

Do with that what you will. (I feel INCREDIBLY justified for my comments last podcast, not gonna lie. I’ve already suggested they stop shooting the puck, but that seems counter productive, eh?)

Update: Your normal 5v5 chart

2.5 Stars vs TB Corsi_ZSO

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