It’s Day Two of the Why So Star-ious Tournament of Heartbreak and Elation! And the Beardiest Ladies are here with more hand-wringing, nail biting, shouting at the TV memories of the Dallas Stars season thus far. If you haven’t voted in The Neck Beard Division match ups, go! You’ll have until Thursday (3/19) to vote for both that division and this one.
Vote for whichever moment you feel best encompasses the Stars’ crazy season thus far.
The Duck Dynasty Division
In our first match up today, we have probably one of the most Star-ious moments in recent history: Jordie Benn’s “own” goal against the New York Islanders. Jordie had played his best game all year – posting a 62% Corsi (5v5, Score Adjusted), well below average Scoring Chances Against per 60 at 22.8, and was in general just well positioned and making key passes to move the puck. Post game, Lindy even praised his play. But…with 1.3s left, the Islanders had pulled their goalie, and desperately centered the puck trying to reach a rushing Tavares, and instead it deflected off of Jordie’s skate to send the game to OT.
That moment faces off against one of our favorite #razorisms, “The Beard is in the Crease” because, well, clearly, the beard and the crease have a love-hate relationship.
Three things have really defined this season for the Stars, and one of those claims the number two seed in this division. As of 3/7, 50% of our defensive core had played less than 60 NHL games each. Count for yourself – Oleksiak, Klingberg, Jokipakka, and Nemeth vs JoBenn, Demers, Goligoski, and Daley. That’s right, it’s all Rookies, all the time on the Stars blueline this season. Well, 50% of the time, anyway.
Still, is that more Starry than crying over Mike Modano’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony? The most celebrated Star gave his own tearful speech at the HoF, and then welled up again as he was honored at the AAC. Of all the reasons we’ve had to cry this season, this one is the happiest.
Goaltending has been a hot button issue this season, and in a bizarre turn of events, the Stars new backup, Jhonas Enroth, faced off against former Stars Backup and Florida Panthers 3rd string goalie Dan Ellis on March 5th. Making it even weirder were the events surrounding the backup duel; both Luongo and Montoya were injured in the same game two days prior. Couple that with Kari’s shaky performance getting him yanked, and the stage was set for drama. Yet another twist to this story is that Ellis is mainly an AHL goalie – for the Texas Stars’ main rivals, the San Antonio rampage. Is it really coincidence that McKenzie scored and Sceviour won the shootout?
But on the other hand, one of the dominating storylines all year has been the Jamie Benn/Tyler Seguin bromance. And the media hype started well before the season even began, with ESPN running a silly “get to know you” interview, the boys showing off some crazy trick shots with Dude Perfect, and even our own commentary team calling them soulmates. We can’t make this shit up.
Continuing to dominate the seeding at #4 is another goaltending memory. After seeing that Kari was not getting the help he needed, Jim ‘The One’ Nill, saw an opportunity to trade Anders Lindback for Tank Nation’s, I mean Buffalo’s, starting goalie, Jhonas Enroth. This is the second season in a row the Stars have made a goaltending trade, as 13/14 saw them send Dan Ellis (yes, the backup we just talked about) to the Florida Panthers for Tim Thomas. In typical Stars fashion, Enroth had been putting up decent numbers with Buffalo, despite their defense, but has sunk to a miserable 0.873 save percent since. Lindback, on the other hand, is now at a 0.924 SV% with the Sabres.
But in the battle of the trades, is that more Star-like than the early season #4 for #4 swap? Nill wanted another right shot defenseman, and when Jason Demers came up on the trading block for the San Jose Sharks, Dillon was forced to pack his bags and head west. Since then, Demers has become an integral part of the Dallas blueline, and is definitely the most dateable of all the Stars, but it seemed like the ink hadn’t even dried on the trade before he was pulling on the #4 jersey – Dillon’s old number. Cold, man, cold.
This next “Stars Gonna Star” moment is one that we’ll all have a hard time forgetting. I mean, it should be a given that you’ll win a game if you score 6 goals, but not with the Stars, oh no. On 2/21, they gave up 7 goals against Detroit, and lost the game in overtime.
Still, one of the most common refrains we heard all season is “Why is Jordie Benn still on the ice?” and right before the trade deadline, the fans kicked up a fervor with all the “trade Jordie!” tweets. The obvious reason why he’s still on the team? Jamie, of course. (Nevermind his defense-leading Corsi %, it’s nepotism).
Coming in at the 6th seed is was what everyone considered a coup in the offseason: Jim Nill landed talented (and beautiful) winger Ales Hemsky on a 3yr, $12 million contract. In the preseason, the Stars seemed to be clicking, and adding Hemsky was just another potent piece of the offensive puzzle. But…then. Then. Then it took him 21 games to score a goal.
But is that more Star-like than the elder Benn Brother finding his own bromance? Since he joined the team, Jason Demers has been Jordie’s most frequent d-partner, and, apparently, his close friend and fashion advisor. It’s always lovely to see bro-mates find each other.
Even though Jordie and Jamie have played for the Stars system for several years together, including a brief stint in the Texas Stars playoffs when Jamie was sent down for “experience”, they had never both scored in a single game, until this January, when Jamie opened the scoring for the Stars, and Jordie followed it up with a goal in the second. I think Merrin speaks for all of us with this graph.
On the other hand, the Stars can’t seem to catch a break, which can be summed up pretty nicely by the series against the Chicago Blackhawks. The NHL schedule makers saw fit to have Dallas visiting the United Center three times this season, which isn’t particularly odd. Until you realize that all three of those games were on the second night of a back to back. In one of the most raucous buildings in the league. So, yeah. That was a thing that happened.
For the final matchup of the day, we’ve got two former defensemen facing off. Which situation is more Stars-like?
First, we lose Kevin Connauton on waivers to the Columbus Blue Jackets, who has since then gone on to score 8 goals, including 3 game winning goals. One of those game winners? It was against the Dallas Stars.
But then, the Stars lose David Schlemko on a waiver claim by the Calgary Flames. Schlemko hadn’t played much with the Stars (after they claimed him off waivers from Arizona), but the Flames put him to immediate use, and in his first ever game for the club he scores this amazing shootout goal to win the game.