If you were looking for a star-ier cap to the season, I don’t think you’re ever going to find one. I can reference so many things we’ve talked about this season. The Stars lost on the road. (Remember how their road record is better than their home record?) In Canada. (Remember Carolyn’s post about their record in Canada?) While outpossessing and outshooting their opponent. (Remember literally every recap about a loss?) To the team with the third worst record in the league. (Remember that game against Buffalo?) To their own erstwhile backup goalie. (REMEMBER?)
Not even lost. No. The Stars were SHUT. OUT. by their former backup goalie. Who, BY THE WAY, has not recorded a win with the big club in two seasons. Granted, he’s played all of six games for them at this point, but this was his first win.
Update on playoff chances: kiss the postseason goodbye, babes. Even if we win all seven remaining games, our chances are 27% as of right now. I wouldn’t bet on those odds.
Oh look! A chart!
*looks at chart* *cries* *keeps crying* Standard disclaimers apply: 5v5, score adjusted, numbers taken from waronice.com.
You can tell a game is gonna be good when the Oilers score 30 seconds into the period. On the first shot. Like basically on their first zone entry, I’m pretty sure? Tyler passed the puck straight to Pouliot. Like, literally just a stick to stick pass. Would have been lovely, except Pouliot isn’t on our team. Pouliot makes off like a rocket with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (hereafter referred to as RNH because who has time for hyphens). RNH whiffs, all of the Stars follow him and literally all five of the Stars are watching the puck and not where JORDAN EBERLE is skating. So Eberle takes the opportunity to get the puck behind Kari because why not.
That was the only scoring that happened this period, unless you count Shawn Horcoff scoring after the whistle. When the puck was still active, because the ref has premature whistle ejactulation problems. The puck isn’t covered don’t blow the whistle, you a-hole. I know we lost by 4 (stop we’ll get to that later) but one goal can be a momentum changer? Sometimes? Maybe?
Shoutout to Jordie Benn in the first, who didn’t have a remarkable game (but then, no one really did) but did manage to stop a breakaway that would have given the Oilers a 1-on-no-one-but-Kari midway through the first. And he managed to do it without throwing his stick at whichever Oiler it was.
The other thing noticed in this period and the rest of the game is how eerily quiet the crowd in Rexall is. Is that normal? Is that a thing that happens? They must have cheered some when Eberle scored thirty seconds into the game, but after that they didn’t even get excited about 2 on 1 rushes (which happened a lot because it was turnover-pa-looza out there. My running theory is that someone replaced the fans with cardboard cutouts of fans when actual human beings stopped coming to the games.
Anyway. Oilers take a one goal lead into the first intermission.
Also, you can blame Carolyn for the jinx.
She also picked RNH up for her fantasy team this week.
In the second period I broke out the vodka and my notes get a little harder to follow, unfortunately. Jamie missed a wide open net. McKenzie missed a wide open net on a breakaway from the penalty box, all alone with just him and Bachman. Hemsky also missed an open wide opportunity. The Stars has 21 missed shots last night but I swear it felt like more. Or maybe they all happened in the second. Or maybe this is all hyperbole. You decide.
So then Taylor Hall hip checks Jamie Benn. Yeah. That happened.
Listen, I’m mostly just glad that Taylor Hall has learned how to safely check people. It used to be a problem for him, or maybe it’s just a problem for him against the Wild, but he’s caused serious injury in the past.
Jamie, obviously, took great exception to being hip checked in this fashion. He doesn’t normally find himself on his ass so spectacularly.
Jamie gets in Hall’s face about it. Like literally takes him by the scruff and shakes him.
The ref eventually pulls them apart.
And Taylor Hall skates off without his stick. Straight to the bench. To hide from Jamie Benn, probably. Also he lost his stick.
A lot of Stars fans were calling Hall out for being a wuss and not fighting Jamie Benn but you guys, look. Taylor Hall has fought precisely once in his NHL career. It was against DEREK DORSETT, of all people, and it didn’t go well for Hall. He’s not gonna fight anyone.
Honestly the more interesting thing to me is that you had Nail Yakupov trying to step in there and pull them apart, but when he realized play was still going on he skated off to follow the puck, leaving Hall to deal with Jamie alone. As an erstwhile Oilers fan, I’m not really surprised that no one stood up for Hall? The kid line has taken some nasty hits in the past that literally no one made literally anyone answer for. But they’ve got almost a whole new roster, I guess I didn’t realize that was still gonna be an issue.
Anyway, other than the goaltending, the Stars had TERRIBLE power plays this game, including on 4 on 3 opportunity where they made literally nothing happened. Not a thing.
Bachman made some big saves in the second and. You know. Twitter happened.
Whatever, on to the third.
Look let’s be honest. I kind of checked out on this one. I’ve started playing Mass Effect and I was reading walkthroughs on the Mass Effect wikia while the game played in the background because WHO NEEDS ALL THIS HEARTBREAK, STARS.
Roy’s goal was a sad one for our defense. Klingberg turned it over in the defensive zone. Like, in the corner right behind the net. Goligoski had literally no idea where it was until it was in the back of our net. So, that sucked.
Benoit Pouliot scores off a feed from Taylor Hall. It was kind of a mad scramble in front of Kari’s net, but did no one see Pouliot all by himself on the other side of the net? Oh, yeah. Taylor Hall did. Ugh.
Andrew Miller gets hooked by Jordie on a breakaway, leading to a penalty shot, (at least he didn’t throw his stick this time?) which led to a goal. Listen. Interrupting breakaways is generally a good idea, even if they lead to penalty shots, because goalies have the advantage of preparation for a penalty shot and waaaaay less opportunity of getting run into the net by rushing forward. Add to that, Kari is actually pretty good at saving penalty shots. Unfortunately, Miller scores on that penalty shot.
His first goal.
In the national hockey league.
Andrew Miller, you’re welcome.