I have to admit that I was a coming down from a good day-drinking buzz while watching the game last night, so I was more tired than usual for a late game. Fortunately, the Stars seemed to have gotten their energy back after playing such a sloppy game against Edmonton the night before. Last night’s tilt wasn’t the best hockey they’ve played all year, but it was a far cry from the worst.
Numbers from War-on-ice, 5v5, and score adjusted.
- Our Top 6 really showed up last night. Jamie Benn opened the scoring, doing to Vancouver what Edmonton had done to us, with an early goal. For goal two, Spezza does work to wrap the puck around from behind the net, giving Patrick “My Shooting % is Hotter Than That Sharp Guy’s” Eaves the opportunity to cram it past Lack. And in a very “This Is What We Pay Him For” moment, Tyler Seguin scores a very pretty goal on a breakaway. We all thought it was going to be the game winner, but….
- Side Note: Benn-Eakin-Seguin started out being matched up against the Sedin line, but the twins were clearly being out played, so Willie Desjardins mostly played Teenage Wonder Bo Horvat & Friends against our top line. That kid is gonna be pretty freakin’ good as he keeps developing.
- Side Note 2: Again, the Stars put up the league average 25 Scoring Chances Against Per 60. Recently, when we win close games, we’re about 25-28. When we’ve lost games, we’re about 30. When we win decisively, we’ve been about 20. It’s AMAZING what actual defense can do for you.
- This game did go to overtime, so I was too tired to be anxious, it was great to see the strides we’ve made in 4v4 play. In OT the Stars put up a 70% CF%. In the 2nd period, there was about 2 minutes of 4v4 time as well, and while we didn’t put up any shots, neither did they. This is a pretty big difference from how our 4v4 was going earlier in the year, and is probably why we had such a hard time picking up OT points until recently.
- Side Note: How cute was it when Klingberg scored the OT winner? Everyone wanted to grab a piece of that Elf Magic.
The Más o Menos
- Trevor Daley is back from injury, which means going forward we’ll have to scratch a D-man. Apparently, it’s entirely coincidental that Jordie Benn had a “back injury/soreness” and would’ve been out last night anyway. Honestly, I don’t know who I’d scratch for Daley. Other than the Edmonton game, Jordie’s been playing well…and if he really is nursing a back injury, that could’ve accounted for some of his poor decisions the other night. Nemeth has been having a hard time recently, but he’s also a rookie coming off a huge injury and just needs the playing time to get back on his feet.
- Side Note: Daley had a very Daley-esque game last night with two assists, but a 42% possession. He also was paired with Nemeth (which I think was the original plan when Nemeth returned, if not for Daley’s injury), but together they posted some pretty abysmal numbers, and had some issues postionally. The 1st Canucks goal was scored on a bad line change by Nemeth. The 2nd Canucks goal was on the powerplay – seconds before the goal, Daley accidentally plows into Kari, knocking his stick away. Unable to recover his blocker, Kari goes for a glove save on a Hamhuis shot, but Higgins gets his stick on it and it redirects. Where were Daley & Nemeth? Nowhere near the shooting lane.
- Speaking of who to scratch, Ryan Garbutt was back in the game last night, replacing Colton Sceviour after his lackluster effort against the Oilers. Let’s be honest: I doubt we’ll be seeing much of Garbutt for the rest of this year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was traded this summer. He’s an energetic player (when focused), and his “grit” plus speed can be a huge asset – to a team that is less reliant on possession based play. He’s not producing points, which is what Lindy’s calling on him to do, so who knows. Sceviour isn’t either. I think there will be quite the bottom 6 shake up when Val gets back to Dallas.
- Side Note: Val played two games in Cedar Park over the weekend, and reports are that he looked 100%. He’ll be playing a third on Weds, which both of us Ladies will be able to see! We promise to report back 🙂
- While technically the Canucks were on the power play in the last two minutes of the game (on a really fucking soft penalty call), the Stars gave up another goal with the opposition pulling their goalie for the extra attacker. Yes, 6 on 4 is different than 6 on 5, but it does put Dallas top of the league in goals allowed when the opposition pulls their goalie. That’s 8 goals this season, tying them with Nashville.
- Side Note: The reffing this game was all over the place. Both teams got away with shit they shouldn’t have. The Stars got put on the PK over two really weak calls; the first was on Demers for a holding call (in the 2nd), and that last one was on Tyler for a “stick-on-stick” slash against Edler that was clearly embellished. Given that Goose had gotten (rightfully) called for embellishment earlier in the game, it was really surprising that matching minors weren’t given.