Well Stars fans, you’ve made it through Round One of the Why So Star-ious Tournament of Heartbreak and Elation. Some of this is fun, some of this makes me want to cry, some of this makes me want to drink, and some of this makes me want to drive to Dallas to burn sage in the Stars’ locker room and purge the evil spirit that is clearly residing there.
(I mean really, you tell me.)
But we’ve taken the winners (if you want to call some of these winners, my frickin god) from round one and pitted them against new opponents for Round Two!
So please vote, my friends, and tell us which you think is more indicative of this oh-so-star-ry season.
Round 2: Duck Dynasty Division
Because this tournament is designed to torment me, our first match up pits two blue liners against each other. The first: 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.
But which is more Star-ious? Jordie’s own goal, or the Stars placing Kevin Connauton on waivers, CBJ claiming him, and KNauts going on to have a career season with CBJ? Since being claimed, Connauton has scored eight goals, three of which were game winners, one of which was against the Stars.
This next one is a hard one to forget. 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 give up six goals to the Red Wings in regulation and go on to lose the game, giving up a seventh in OT.
But is that high scoring game more Star-ry this season than our back up goaltending woes? 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 (of recent Back Up Goalie Fame) 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.
In a second round match up that pits bromance against bromance, which one wins out? On the one hand, one of the dominating storylines all this year (and the year before, to be honest) has been the Jamie Benn/Tyler Seguin bromance. 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.
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.
The Stars can’t seem to catch a break this season, schedule-wise, 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.
Frequently lamented this season has been our defensive play. 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.
The Neck Beard Division
This one made it through the first round, and we’re pretty sure it’s because it’s everyone’s least favorite but most quoted stat: the win % when outshooting our opponent. Everyone knows that we can’t win if we have over 40 SOG, or if our CF% goes over 50%. That’s normal, right?
But is that more or less Star-ious than the Stars OT record this season? They have gone to overtime or a shootout fifteen times this season already. They have won five. FIVE. The first victory in OT (without going to a shootout) came in February against the Rangers – and it was the first game won in OT since 3/11/14.
I had the distinctly lovely opportunity to be on hand for the game against the Panthers when Hemsky, Eaves, and Seguin, were all injured. (Guess which part of that sentence is sarcastic.) Jokes aside, actually distinctly lovely, all scored in their first game back from IR. Our offense missed them dearly.
But is that more or less Star-ious than the fact that Jamie had never recorded an NHL hat trick until this season? Crazy, but true, and as that’s the theme of the Stars this year, it’s actually becoming more believable by the second. Either way, the captain put the team on his back in a 4-1 rout of the St Louis Blues to earn his first hat trick, and keep them in the playoff race.
In the second period of that disastrous recent game against Minnesota, the Pitbull line was stuck on in their own zone for 3.5 minutes without getting off a line change. The Stars gave up 6 goals that game, but that wasn’t until the third. They would never let the opposition score when they’re at their most vulnerable and completely exhausted, why live down to expectations?
But is that more indicative of the Stars’ mentality than the Penguins game at the beginning of the year where they had a goal waved off, only to score two instead? The Stars do so love to be the underdog.
source: curtismuckenzie // the game winning hug because i love hugs
The worst thing for coaches is to try to pull a team out of a slump when they’re playing well, which has been Lindy’s cross to bear this season. How many interviews have we heard him praise our team’s play and still not get the result necessary? Couple that with the games (like the one against the Oilers in December) where they can’t keep the puck, make egregious turnovers, have to put in the back up – and then we win, and you get a very Star-ious result indeed.
But is that more indicative of the Stars’ crazy season than how the Boston media continues to harp on Seguin and his party boy ways (which Dallas fans haven’t seen), his terrible face off percent (which improved dramatically this season), and his poor defensive play (which…just isn’t true).