Friends, are you enjoying reliving this Star-ry season as much as we are? And by enjoying, I mean frequently taking breaks from voting to bang your head against a desk or wall. This sure has been an interesting season. But hey, we have reached the final entry round! If you did not cast your votes yesterday for the Soul Patch Division, please take the opportunity to do so here.
Please vote for the option in each match up that makes this season seem the Star-iest.
The Supervillain Goatee Division
My little stars, do you remember all those times this season when we’ve got into the third period with a lead, however large or small? Do you remember that instead of feeling a certainty that we would win, a feeling that we had it in the bag, or even the smallest glimmer of hope, you were instead filled with an awful feeling of dread? That would be because the Stars are 28th in the league in winning percentage when going into the third with a lead. THERE’S A REASON FOR THE DREAD. We’ve been let down way too many times. (Who, you might ask, are 29 and 30? Edmonton and Buffalo, basically who you’d expect.)
Pitted against this we have that terrible, no-good, awful afternoon when, after his Patriots defeated the Benn Bros Seahawks in the Super Bowl, Tyler Seguin shaved Jordie Benn’s beard off after practice. Let it be known that there is almost no future as a barber for Tyler unless he practices a lot more. Jordie looked like he had mange after, it was all very sad.
Mentioned previously in this Tournament of Heartbreak and Elation is the high scoring phenomenon. Some teams would win handily when scoring three goals in a game, because they might, you know, have the defense and the goaltending to back that up. The Stars? Let me answer that question by giving you this example: Tyler Seguin scores a hat trick against the San Jose Sharks on 11/8/14, but we go on to lose the game 5-3. Even Tyler Seguin can’t save this team from itself sometimes.
But is that Star-ier than new Stars mascot Victor E. Green? The living, furry embodiment of Stars fans’ darkest nightmares. I’m familiar with the concept of mascots, I just don’t know why we have to have one.
Harken back to last summer, my little flowers. Remember when we traded for Jason Spezza and we got Hemsky and while we didn’t make a lot of adjustment at defense there was so much hope for the offensive powerhouse our team was shaping up to be? And then do you remember the first, like, actually literally the first two months of the season when we couldn’t seem to pull together a win against anyone in the Central Division? Yeah, that’s the division we’re in. THAT division. It wasn’t until 12/27/14 when we beat St. Louis 4-3. IN DECEMBER.
But is that as Star-ry as the penalty calling this season? In back to back games this spring, Jamie Benn and Jason Demers get highsticked in the face hard enough to draw blood (Jason ended up with stitches. Twice.). What makes this even Star-ier is that neither penalty was called. In Demers’ case, the same penalty was called later that game AGAINST the Stars. (It was on Garbutt, in an incident that should surprise no one.)
This fourth match up pits two annoying things against each other. Like, super annoying. The Stars have been featured on NBCSN a couple of times this season which is, you know, kinda nice to get national exposure for a smaller market. But we’re, you know, the smaller market. This was never quite so evident as it was the first time it happened this season, in the January 4 game against the Blackhawks. In between long soliloquies from NBC’s color analyst (listen, I’m not gonna bother to figure out his name until he figures out Klingberg’s) about how amazing the Blackhawks are this season, last season, the seasons before, and probably every season until Kane and Toews retire, they couldn’t even bother to get Stars’ players names right. Klingberg became Klingman and Antoine Roussel’s evil twin (or is he the nice twin?) Dominic Roussel showed up for the game.
So which is more annoying (or more Star-ry): NBCSN not bothering to learn the names of Star’s players, or Jamie Benn going on a goal drought and actual STARS FANS calling for him to be relieved of his captaincy? I can only assume these people looked at the new veteran presence on the Stars and thought maybe Spezza might be a better candidate? These people are shortsighted and sad and we should pity them.
Because I have terrible luck in choosing games to go to this year, I was on hand for the game against Florida when Kulikov took Tyler Seguin out at the knees. A bigger mess of bullshit I never did see, but what made the whole thing an even bitterer pill to swallow was the Gordie Howe hat trick Kulikov got the next game that earned him FIRST STAR HONORS from the Florida media.
Is that more or less Star-ry than Erik Cole (may he rest in peace in Detroit)’s ridiculous empty netter against Boston? That thing curled around, bounced off the boards, and kind of lazily drifted towards the net before anyone on the ice realized that’s where it was heading. You can see the “OH SHIT” moment in Dougie Hamilton’s skating when he figures it out, but it was already way too late. (Razor’s call about it too, lol. “It didn’t even put its blinker on!”)
Our 6th match up may need a swig from something alcoholic to help choke it down. On 2/7/15, the Stars played the Sabres in Buffalo. Despite out-possessing and out-shooting the literal worst team in the NHL in almost all categories, the Stars lost the game 3-2. But it’s cool, we have another opportunity to kick their asses coming up on Monday. *checks our home record* *cries*
Start chugging, friends, because the second half of this match up is that period against the Wild. YEAH. THAT ONE. The Stars take a 1-0 lead into the third period. Remember what I said at the beginning about our winning % when taking a lead into the third? Nowhere has it been more fucking tragic than this game. The Wild scored SIX. FREAKING. GOALS. in this period, to eventually win the game 6-2. They set a record, incidentally, and I’m pretty sure I forgot to put Dubnyk in, so I didn’t even get fantasy points. So friends, which loss is Star-ier? You decide.
Our 7th match up asks you to take a look at two season series and decide which is a star-ier sweep for the opponent. The first is our series against the used-to-be-behind-us-in-the-standings Colorado Avalanche. In five games against the Avs, despite us out-possessing and out-shooting the Avs on at least the three games that I just looked at, we lost every single one. We managed to get a two points out of the mix by taking them to a shootout twice, but seriously. We haven’t managed a win yet against two teams in our division, but we still have two more chances against the Predators. The Avs are just. I mean. Important to note that they have one more point than us this season. It’s not like they’re Chicago (who we HAVE actually beaten), what is it about that team?
So is that sweep Star-ier than the fact that we haven’t been able to beat the Maple Leafs this season? Granted, it’s only two games compared to the Avs five, but the Maple Leafs are. Well. They’re the Maple Leafs. The funnest thing in the dwindling days of this season has been watching that shitstorm implode on itself, right? And yet, in two games played against them, they beat us 5-3 and 4-0. FOUR. TO. ZERO. We were actually SHUT OUT by the Leafs this season. This season in which their slide to the bottom has made more news than literally any other hockey story.
Listen friends. Do you still have the drink I asked you to get in the 6th match up? You might need it again here. The Stars have been to overtime 15 times this season. Of those fifteen times, three of them were because the other team pulled their goalie in the final minutes of the game and scored with the man advantage. Those games were that bullshit game against Detroit (the one with the goalie interference), one of the games we lost to Colorado, and an early game against Minnesota. All three of those games were games we eventually went on to lose in OT.
(Just in case you wanted to get mad at that again)
Of those fifteen games, not a single one went to OT because of a man advantage for the Stars. No. Not a single one. Believe me, I looked. In fact, instead of going to OT with a man advantage because we pulled the goalie, we have had empty net goals scored on us a total of ten times. The only time we’ve scored a goal when we’ve pulled the goalie was the game against Winnipeg on 1/16/15, which we eventually lost in regulation 2-1 anyway. So which is Star-ier? Getting scored on when the other team has the man advantage, or getting an empty netter scored on us?