WE WONNNNNNNN. Look I know we’re eliminated from the playoffs and these wins don’t do us any good in the standings but FRICK Y’ALL I would rather see them go out with a bang than a whimper.
AND WHAT AN EMPHATIC BANG.
Yeah I’m gonna stop using euphemisms for sex now. I was so prepared for vitriol and hate for the Ducks and their stupid faces and their stupid jerseys and their stupid win/domination of possession/shots on goal (look I always prepare for the worst, I’m terrible) that I literally don’t know what to write about now that we’ve won.
OH YEAH JAMIE BENN.
But first, a chart.
Numbers from waronice.com, 5v5, score adjusted. Please notice, if you will, Ryan “Please Don’t Trade Me” Garbutt at the top, along with Trevor “I’m Only Here Because the Ducks Weren’t Trying” Daley. John Klingberg a surprising second to last, but when all of the Stars were this dominant in possession, it’s forgiven.
Also, Merrin Eye Test: the Ducks really, really weren’t trying. They weren’t trying so hard that by the end of the game, the N B C BROADCAST WAS TALKING MORE ABOUT THE STARS. AND. YOU KNOW. GETTING THEIR NAMES RIGHT.
It was a banner evening all around.
Few ups and downs in this scoreless period. A sick realization that the game was broadcast on NBC and the last time I’ll be able to watch the Stars in the regular season (I have a wedding on Saturday night) I miss Ralph and Razor’s commentary. Sad faces all around. It got off to a really rocky start too. NBC was lovingly talking about Perry and Getzlaf and how amazing they are and then switched over to Jamie Benn and talked about how he was “quietly having a point per game season.” And like. Y’all. It’s only quiet if you aren’t paying attention. Which, believe me, NBC usually doesn’t.
Enroth looked really solid from the beginning and didn’t let in any of the Ducks early chances. Right off the draw has been an issue in several games for us this year so it was nice to see him find his groove early.
Thing to note early on: the Ducks “rested” Ryan Getzlaf. It’s not unheard of, and the Stars did it last season after we’d clinched. Jamie, Horcoff, and half the roster (it seemed) sat out the final game against Arizona. (Note: we lost that game too, but it was only 2-1.)
Roussel got a penalty for interference on Corey Perry, which was great. But that was followed at the end of the period by a truly nasty boarding by Simon Depres on Roussel, and the fact that he was only given two minutes for it is bullshit. I don’t really want to sully my beautifully happy recap with the gifs, but here’s the link to a tweet that gives you one.
To the power play!
Also I made this during the first but the game didn’t end up being that rage inducing. I just laughed hysterically at sad Ducks flopping around on the ice.
So in first intermission they were talking about how the second period is Dallas best but the third is Anaheim’s best. So. Naturally that’s cause for nerves.
Please ignore my typo, I was very sleepy.
Our power play was kinda garbage but immediately after it was over Fiddler scored 5v5 after a truly beautiful steal by Ryan Garbutt, who was trying so hard to make up for the last few games. I’d believe it if you could sustain it, Garbs, but I won’t dwell on that today. But seriously, way to capitalize on an offensive zone turnover. Ducks never clear it, Garbs gets it to Horcoff, who gets it back to Garbs, who takes a shot, and then Fiddler is there to clean up the garbage in front of the net. (The garbage being Corey Perry, who he literally shot around. It was great. So frickin great.)
Then JORDIE BENN scored a beautiful slap shot from the top of the zone. Seriously. It touched literally no one before hitting the cross bar and angling down into the net. It was such a gorgeous goal. And it was the gift that kept on giving for a couple of minutes, because then I realized that Jamie assisted on it, which was amazing considering his Art Ross campaign. THEN. THEN. I find out that it was the FIRST TIME Jamie assisted on one of Jordie’s goals, which just makes it about six billion times better. Jamie was asked after the game what happens with the puck, and he laughed and smiled (the happiest he looked in his post game was talking about Jordie’s goal, excuse me while I die over how cute that is) and said he would probably send it home to mom.
Later in the period Stoner takes a penalty for hooking Roussel (he got beat up a lot this game) and about a minute later Depres takes the second stupidest penalty (puck over glass) and the Stars have a 5 on 3. I can’t find this stat anywhere because I’ve only spent five seconds googling and got impatient, but I seem to remember a stat this year or last year where the Stars had the most 5 on 3 opportunities and the fewest goals. Like, we scored a grand total of zero goals 5 on 3.
Well. In 25 seconds of 5 on 3 play tonight, Eaves knocks it home for his 13 goal of the season, and Jamie assists for his EIGHTY SECOND POINT. So to end the second, he’s one point behind Sidney Crosby and John Tavares, and will definitely have at least a point per game at the end of the season, even if he never assists or scores again.
Y’all I didn’t even have anything for this period. At the 11 minute mark, I turned to Carolyn and showed her my computer screen where the only thing I’d written for the period was NBC talking shit about our third period. “What am I gonna graph about?” I asked her.
And then, literally just as the last word was leaving my lips, Eaves scores. “THAT!!!” she says as we flail about on her couch.
Jamie Benn assists, gives himself 83 points for the season thus far, and is now in a three way tie with John Tavares and Sidney Crosby. There’s still two games left for both the Islanders and the Penguins. Jamie will still have Saturday night to acquit himself. Even if he doesn’t win it, oh my GOD what a rush this late season push has been.
So the most adorable thing happened on the sidelines and not on the ice that I’m gonna talk about now. After the second, Seguin skated over to Mike Johnson, the color guy for NBC, to ask if Ovechkin had gotten any points tonight, and where Jamie stood in the Art Ross race. Mike Johnson confirmed the order of things. So when Eaves scored on Jamie’s assist in the third, there’s a moment you can see Tyler on the bench, looking over at Johnson to confirm that he’s tied for first now. This team, man. They’re each other’s biggest fans and it hurts my heart sometimes.
And finally: shutout for a backup goaltender this season! In this season! Can you believe it!? (Me either, I still think I’m dreaming.)
It’s absolutely tragic we don’t get to watch this team in the playoffs, because they have been DOMINANT in this late run. (Sometimes. They’re still inconsistent but when they’re on, they are flipping ON.) But there’s a lot to hope for in the summer, heading into next season. Klingberg is only going to get better. Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin are still gonna be here. Hopefully we’ll have the opportunity to upgrade our defense and goaltending, but even if we end up resigning Enroth, he’s found his groove in the last few games. So maybe that’s an upward trend. Who knows?
One thing I will say about this star-ry, star-ry season, the Stars have been many things, but boring has never been one of them.