3.23.15 – Stars vs Sabres Game Recap (A Big Thank You to Tank Nation)

MY LITTLE STARS WE WON ANOTHER ONE. WE WON THREE IN A ROW.

One more and we’ll tie our longest winning streak all season. <cries> Eight wins in March, a time when ALL THE WINS MATTER. I’m trying to keep myself mentally prepared for heartbreak but it’s getting increasingly harder.

WHATEVER I’ll stop being a downer WE WONNNNNNNNNN.

Have Carolyn’s expected graph:

3.23 Stars vs BUF Corsi_ZSO

(Numbers from war-on-ice.com, 5v5, score adjusted.) Hilarious to note that Carolyn didn’t need to draw the little squiggly line across the screen because literally everyone on the team had a CF% greater than 50%. Also hilarious: at some point in the third I noticed we had 39 shots, and had that OH SHIT moment of WE NEVER WIN WHEN WE GET 40 SHOTS. 40 shots and Kari immediately turns into a block of swiss cheese!

But it’s cool, friends. We literally stopped at 39. I can’t remember exactly when it was that we stopped taking shots on net, but I’m not mad about it. Not mad at all.

Let’s talk about the game though, eh?


First period

3.23 Stars vs BUF 1st

Lots of ups and downs this period. I remembered that Buffalo has the hot Foligno brother on it.

seriouslythough

Seriously though. I didn’t see any close ups of his face because, you know, he didn’t really do much that was amazing or noteworthy, and I was watching the Stars broadcast anyway. I wonder if Buff does loving close ups of his face the way I would if I were producing that broadcast . . . another question for another time and probably a different blog.

Right. So! Klingberg literally undressed the offense behind the net, stripping a Sabres player (my notes were lost along with everything else on my computer last night) of both the puck and his gloves. Idek, but it was very effective at the time.

Gionta scores because Stars. No but really. He scores because Kari was at the top of the crease, really far out of his net, he didn’t swallow the rebound, the puck got in behind Jordie, and Demers had no idea where it was. Like. In a nutshell, that’s what happened. Gionta got back in and was easily able to get it around Kari, who couldn’t reposition himself in time, that far out of his net.

I really wish he didn’t love the top of his crease so much.

Anyway, there is despair for the next six minutes while the Stars throw every shot on goal imaginable at the Sabres. There is much consternation amongst Stars fans on twitter as regards erstwhile backup goalie Anders Lindback.

https://twitter.com/DallasSportsFan/status/580192081181741057

It was a wild night.

Thankfully, Jamie Benn put us all out of our misery (seriously, the flashbacks were real, my ulcer is happening, and my blood pressure was probably not made for following sports) in the LAST TWENTY NINE SECONDS OF THE PERIOD. Eaves had a howitzer of a shot from the top of the zone that Jamie redirects 5-hole on Lindback and bam, tie game going into first intermission.

And one more tweet:

Stars fans don’t forget, Lindback. Nor do we forgive.

Second period

3.23 Stars vs BUF 2nd

The first spot on this graph isn’t that significant to the game, but could be to Tyler Seguin. He’s been playing wing since returning from injury, apparently because he didn’t really trust his knee 100%. Take that as you will (I’m done being mad at players for not protecting themselves as it literally does nothing except give me ulcers), but tonight he felt comfortable enough to move back to center after the first.

Next point on this graph, Kari’s AMAZING SAVE on a slapshot from Benoit. NHL video center is dumb and won’t let me embed, but you can watch it by clicking here.

Goalies, man. So flexible.

Hemsky shows up a few times on this graph. He had a pretty interesting game, to be quite honest. Lindback comes out of the crease to play the puck behind the net, and Hemsky checks him into the boards. It wasn’t a hard check and both of them skated away afterwards. It really surprised me that there was no retaliation against Hemsky for the hit, since most teams treat their goalies like the precious little snowflakes they are. Imagine one of the Sabres checking Kari in the same manner. We’ve seen the Stars freak out when someone just bumps Kari in the crease, if another team checked Kari? Expect literally all Stars on the ice are all over whoever it is without hesitation.

So what’s up, Sabres?

This, however, is the same franchise (although clearly there have been some personnel changes since then) that let Milan Lucic bulldoze Ryan Miller with nary a response. Maybe it’s just a culture thing.

REGARDLESS, shortly after that Hemsky misses an absolutely wide open net and gets on my shit list for a bit. It doesn’t get much better than that, Hemsky, maybe you should make your blade longer.

Stars take the stupidest penalty in hockey, Demers kicks a goal in off his shin (but on Kari, not on Lindback) and Merrin despairs of us ever winning again.

Third period

3.23 Stars vs BUF 3rd

My internet broke in the third period so I missed literally the first six minutes. I’ve gone back to watch Jamie’s goal again, and MAN that was a beauty.

My feed comes back just in time to watch the Stars give Buffalo an opportunity to breakaway and get off one of the five shots the Stars allowed Buff to have all period. Buffalo scores because WHY NOT. Listen, despite being outpossessed and mostly outplayed, the Sabres were leading this entire game until they lost it. It’s probably something the Stars will want to look at in the off season, this voodoo curse Buff has on them.

Seguin scores but it isn’t actually Seguin, Eaves redirects from in front of the net. Important to note: Seguin knows it isn’t his goal, Eaves knows he got a piece of it, and this is Seguin’s face after the goal:


source: gfhockey

I just love a dude that gets this excited for his teammates.

The “Little Ginger” (as Razor adorably called him during the game) takes a beauty of a cross pass from Klingberg and gets right behind Lindback for the go-ahead goal. Most of the effort on this play was Hemsky’s though, and it made up for missing that wide open net in the second . . . almost. ALMOST, Hemksy. I’m gonna need a few goals from you in the last nine games. (Please.)

The last thing that (almost) happens is Jamie getting kicked right in the . . . well let’s just say it. Jamie checks Johan Larsson into the Stars bench. Larsson goes over face first and his legs kick up. One of them kicks right up between Jamie’s and catches him straight in the balls. Jamie’s in a bit of obvious discomfort, and there’s also some concern that Larsson’s skate might have caught his skin somewhere, so he hobbles back over to the bench. He’s fine though, and Ralph and Razor’s giggles about the incident after that’s clear are pretty amazing.


Takeaway

And there you have it, friends. The team with Anders Lindback took a lead into the third period, Lindback gave up three goals after two strong opening periods, and that team lost. BUT IT WASN’T THE STARS THIS TIME, AHAHAHAHAAHA.

You’re welcome, Tank Nation. I mean Buffalo.

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