OMG TWO IN A ROW WE’RE GOING STREEEEEAKING.
For reals though you guys, there was a bit in the third period last night where Razor was reminding us that we were facing their third string back up and they didn’t have Jagr or their captain on the ice and the Stars were STILL STRUGGLING TO BEAT THEM and while that should maybe give us some pause and a desire to reflect on what a failboat our team has been this season, WHATEVER WE WON.
Have a celebratory graph. (I mean you’d have had a graph either way.)
(Numbers from war-on-ice, 5v5, score adjusted.) Important things to note: literally all of us were above 50% CF. Our overall possession was a whopping 68.1%. Why you should note this: WE WON BOTH THE POSSESSION BATTLE AND THE GAME. This does not happen often, Stars fans, cherish these moments when they make sense. Another interesting thing to note, that line of Benn/Spezza/Eaves leading the possession battle, and Eaves apparently having literally zero scoring chances against. Quality of competition? I can’t remember which Panthers defenders were out against them. Also hilarious to note: that line, despite their monstrous possession, had zero goals or assists and only eight shots all night. (Eaves had zero. How did Eaves have zero?)
So maybe that’s our possession loss in a tiny nutshell. Thank god for secondary scoring, am I right?
(Yes, those are tiny stars on the graph. Sprinkles are for winners.)
Game started with an early goal from McKenzie and I thought, MAN, this is gonna be a great game, right? Florida has in our old back up, who Carolyn and I were just maligning on the last podcast. (I mean, we were very justifiably maligning all of the Stars back up goalies from the recent past.) Stars were also out for retribution for Seguin, which is probably what led to McKenzie picking a fight with Kulikov midway through the first. Listen, it wasn’t a question of if, it was a question of when (and probably who).
Like. Kudos to McKenzie for sticking up for his dude (Kulikov was ejected during the last game, if you’ll remember, so no one got a chance to then) and for not looking completely embarrassing during that altercation. Hockeyfights.com actually has him winning by a substantial margin after 37 votes and that’s probably because Kulikov only managed to get two punches in.
Apparently he and McKenzie had also had words during warm ups, much like Demers and McLeod the other night, and veterans had to come between the two players. I wish I could find video of this incident, but they didn’t show anything during the broadcast.
Anyway, moving on from that, my boo Horcoff scores literally twenty seconds later, putting the Stars up 2-0. Ralph and Razor then spent some time talking about Horcoff’s leadership on the team and what a great locker room guy he is and how everyone on the team just adores him, and I got a little choked up because yeah, that dude’s amazing.
Then Brandon Pirri scores and it was stupid. Like really stupid. They left Pirri all alone on the other side of the ice and the Panthers took advantage of a sloppy line change by the Stars and Kari just has so much trouble saving on a breakaway. (I’m watching these goals over on gamecenter live and y’all in Florida, how do you listen to your broadcasters. They’re frickin awful. Like, I know not every team can have Ralph and Razor, but how do you stand it.)
Whatever, we’re still ahead.
So many turnovers for the Stars early on. When the other team scores I get really nervous for the Stars until they score again because sweet christ, it’s like this team gets one goal against them and they start playing desperation hockey, which leads to all sorts of stupid mistakes.
LIKE LETTING KULIKOV COME OUT OF THE BOX LITERALLY BEHIND EVERY SINGLE STAR AND GET A BREAKAWAY TO THE NET ONE-ON-ONE WITH KARI.
I’m sorry, were you UNAWARE that penalties last two minutes? Did Kari not beat his stick on the ice to let you know it was ending? Was no one on the bench yelling at you that it was about to be over? WAS LITERALLY NO ONE FUCKING PAYING ATTENTION.
That one stings more than almost any goal against all season, for reals. Both because of who scored it and because of how it was scored.
Huberdeau scored four minutes later to give the Panthers the lead, I started feeling like I was developing an ulcer, and I guess Lindy did too because he pulled Kari after that.
Goligoski had a pretty nifty move just to end the second when he picked the puck up from BEHIND Enroth in the blue paint. It had a slow trajectory that would have taken it across the goal line. I want to believe Enroth would have found it before then, but we all know our luck this season. Sigh.
Let’s just look at a few of my tweets from this time frame, eh?
(I’m nothing if not self-referential.)
So many turnovers to start this period, seriously. It was painful hockey to watch. Goligoski, thankfully, came back from the intermission to play. He got called for a slashing penalty about five minutes in. Ellis had a HUGE stop against him about two minutes later. Like. HUGE.
BUT THEN. FINALLY. Goligoski accomplished what he’d been trying to do literally the entire period and got it in the net. It was glorious. Stars fans again felt joy.
Granted, that was only to tie the game. We still had OT.
Overtime and the shootout because whatever
No graphs, I was biting my nails too much to actually pay attention to things I would graph. We made it past the thirty second mark so I got really hopeful. Stars had some big saves and some good chances, but nothing was decided. Enroth was money in the shootout against Pirri and Trocheck, and Bjugstad straight up missed the net. Lindy didn’t go with Jamie, which I wasn’t entirely mad at since he hasn’t really been that effective in it for a while. Spezza and #KlingbergForCalder couldn’t get it past Ellis but SCEVIOUR DID AND WOOOOOOOOOO WE WON IN THE SHOOTOUT.
Someone’s trolling us, right? (Don’t watch the Kulikov goal on gamecenter. It only gives it to you from the Panthers broadcast, and their commentators spent the entire celebratory/reset time talking about all of the adversity Kulikov has had to overcome recently. What. Like. Ruining someone’s knee for a month? That kind of adversity? THAT POOR DUDE.)