Well, as much as we wanted to believe, that game seemed doomed to failure before it even started. The Stars were on the second night of a back to back, lost three key players the night before, and had to fly in their AHL replacements from Iowa – where they had also played the night before. Add in the fact that Dallas has lost every time they’ve faced Varlamov this year, and have lost 5 consecutive road games in Denver, and well…the odds were not in our favor.
All charts are 5v5, all score situations, from war-on-ice.com.
- If there is one thing we can’t fault for the loss, it’s Lindy’s coaching. He literally tried every combination of guys possible (hence there’s no color coding on the Corsi chart). Some worked better than others, and we saw Spezza moved on to the same line with Jamie by the end of the 1st.
- Side Note: My favorite coaching choice was probably the decision to pull Enroth after the Stars took a Too Many Men penalty while on the Power Play, instead of playing through a 4v4 situation. The gamble pulled off, allowing Spezza to net another very pretty goal.
- Spezza may not have been the player I was most impressed with throughout that game, but he definitely was one of the guys who tried the hardest. At one point, he was behind the net when a puck was deflected straight into the air, he batted it with his hand into the back of Stuart and it bounced into the net. It was a no goal, as there’s a rule that explicitly states you can’t do that, but I loved his effort nonetheless.
- Klingberg was easily the best player for the Stars last night, with Goligoski a close second. Every time they had the puck I let out a sigh of relief because they were the only calm and collected people on the ice.
The Más o Menos
- It was an unfortunate game for Enroth’s debut. Of the 4 goals, I felt like he really could have even been held responsible for two: Tanguay’s goal in the 2nd off one of the very few rebounds Enroth missed, and Everberg’s goal in the 3rd. As Razor said, he would’ve had to have been perfect for us to win this game, and given the circumstances, I can’t be upset with his performance.
- Side Note: The Goals Against chart for this game is very different than our usual – most of the stars Goals against happen right in front of the net, but in this case, two goals were flukey deflections scored from distance.
- There were three AHL call ups playing last night – McKenzie who had been a scratch on Friday, and then Travis Morin and Brett Ritchie flew in from Iowa where they were with the Texas Stars on a road trip. The two young guns tried to bring some physicality to the game early. McKenzie dropped gloves against McLeod in a staged fight that accomplished nothing in terms of “bringing energy” to an exhausted team. Baby Rookie Brett Ritchie took the more straight forward approach, throwing hits ever which way.
- Side Note: None of them felt particularly effective in the game until Lindy threw out an AHL reunion line of McKenzie-Morin-Sceviour on a shift, which sustained some excellent offensive zone time, able to shoot and reset, almost like they were on a power play. I hope to see this line again.
- The Star’s major issues last night all seemed mental. Maybe it was because they were playing their 5th game in 8 days, maybe because they were shaken by the all the injuries. There were a ton of scrambling plays, missed passes, icings, offside whistles…there was a too many men penalty with 7 players on the ice. Whatever it was, the Stars did not have the focus needed to win this game.
- Side Note: The first goal, a weird deflection off the back of Jordie Benn was another example. Jordie seemed caught between going back to block the shooting lane, or going forward, so that Enroth could get a clear view. In the end, he did neither and boom, goal.
- Side Note 2: Probably the worst moment of the night was when McLeod opened Demers’ stitches with a “face wash” and he started bleeding everywhere on the ice. But what made this a “poor decision” moment was that instead of leaving and going to get medical treatment, Demers saw McLeod talking to the ref by the Stars’ bench and then decided to sucker punch him, sparking one of the dumbest fights ever, where Mc Leod was throwing punches into the bench, and Demers was hitting him, but also being held back by his teammates.
- In the end, it was another loss to a team we should be able to beat, and a costly two points dropped in a playoff race that’s still ridiculously tight.