Heading into last night’s contest, the Stars were obviously focused on winning every game they can from here on out – if we want to have any shot at the playoffs we need a #miraclerun. On the flip side, after the Kings won their game on Tuesday, if the Flames wanted to stay in their playoff spot, they needed to win the game, too.
Fortunately, I came up with a win-win scenario before the game.
AND THEN IT HAPPENED.
Per usual, numbers from war-on-ice, 5v5, and are Score Adjusted.
- Kari is BACK, y’all! Yes, the Stars did surrender three goals, but none of them were the gross, soft goals he’s been letting in this year. And they weren’t the garbage, Dallas-couldn’t- control-the-rebound ones either. In fact here’s a pretty quick comparison. The red G’s of this chart are the goals from last night:
And here is the same chart from the 1/17 game against the Capitals, picked mostly randomly (as in, I knew it had similar amounts of goals against, and Kari was in net).
Whether it’s Kari doing a better job with rebounds, or the defense doing a better job clearing the crease, the Stars need to keep it up. It’s much easier to win if you’re forcing your opponents to take shots from the outside.
- Side Note: Kari was also fantastic on the breakaway – so much so that when Bouma got a breakaway chance and shot, the Flames had already turned on the goal light before they realized Kari had the puck.
- Side Note 2: AND THEN HE STOPPED ALL THREE SHOOT OUT ATTEMPTS. THAT’S WHAT YOU GET FOR COUNTING YOUR CHICKENS, CALGARY.
- It’s official: The Stars have remembered how to Hockey! 9 of their last 11 results have been in line with possession numbers, with only one loss at an over 50% possession (vs St Louis) and one win at under 50% CF (vs Chicago)!
- Side Note: How good were Klingberg & Nemeth together last night? I’m really loving the presence Nemo brings to our blueline. He’s a force to be reckoned with. He also had the highest individual scoring chances of anyone on the team 5v5, so he’s clearly no slouch on offense, either.
- Side Note 2: Nemo was also very noticeable in OT. He logged as many minutes as Goligoski 4v4, and was just under Klingberg in 4v4 TOI. For once, the Stars as a whole were the better team at the 4v4, posting a 70% CF. Hopefully, this is a trend that continues.
- Side Note 3: Very interested to see how the Defense shakes out in the offseason, because honestly…I haven’t even noticed Daley being out? He’s fast, and better on the Power Play than any of our other Dmen, but Klingberg has been filling that void admirably, and our Scoring Chances Against have been going down a lot. So…don’t be surprised if Goligoski stays and Daley goes this summer.
- Ales Hemsky, had two, count ‘em two, beautiful goals last night. Here’s a link to the video scoring summary, because you should just watch them anyway. Jamie also got on the board with a power play goal off a nasty toe-drag-then-pass from Spezza. Sometimes, the Stars just play really pretty hockey.
The Más o Menos
- Deryk Engelland scored two goals last night, and was awarded the first star of the game over Ales Hemsky. You know what? I can’t even be mad. Here’s why:
The Dallas Stars: We just like to make people smile.
- Dallas’ power play went 1/7 last night, including missing out on chances on a 4 minute double minor and on a power play that occurred in the last two minutes of the game. If we had capitalized on any of these opportunities, it would’ve spared me several near heart attacks.
The long and short of it is that we’re still a long shot for the playoffs. But who cares? This shit is SO FUN.