You know what hardly ever happened last year? Comebacks. This team would get down two goals and then EVERYONE would get angry and sloppy and Kari would get stressed and the entire system would fold like a house of cards.
This year? Two out of three games in this homestand we’ve had to come back from at least a two goal deficit to win the hockey game. Three out of the last six games have been like this. That’s such an improvement over last year and, even more encouraging? Kari was in net for one of those.
These are the games we needed to find a way to win last year, and while it’s better to, you know, not dig yourselves into a hole you had to climb your way out of, the fact that we’ve proven to ourselves that we CAN is better than the alternative.
This game looked like it was going to be so good so early. SO MANY EARLY CHANCES FOR THE STARS.
We went up 10-0 in shots until about 8 minutes into the game (seriously so much possession) when Jason Demers turned the puck over to Burrows who had LITERALLY NO ONE between him and Niemi. Burrows got a good shot off that Niemi saved with no problem, but Goligoski hooked him (as, of course, is tradition in that kind of breakaway). Burrows gets a penalty shot despite his very respectable scoring chance and, DESPITE THE FACT THAT HE HAS PLAYED IN 697 NHL GAMES AND NOT SCORED A GOAL ON A PENALTY SHOT TO DATE, he scores on the penalty shot.
You’re welcome, sir. The Dallas Stars: giving your players their first WHATEVERS since 1993. Or at least 2009.
Even though that penalty shot goal was a decided swing in possession toward the Canucks, about three minutes later Jyrki Jokipakka gets the puck to Sharp at the high face off dot and SHARP SCORES FROM THERE. ALL THE WAY FROM THERE. Why score from the high danger areas when we can just score from, you know, wherever.
Jyrki Jokipakka high sticks someone in the face, causing PROFUSE bleeding that then needed to be taken care of in the visitor’s locker room. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND it wasn’t called. This happened three times that I can think of to the Stars last season and all I can hear in my head is Carolyn hissing “all reffing regresses to a mean.” Again. (She hisses a lot.)
And we end on a tie.
Look the only thing you need to know about this period is that Michael Gruber (@tweetgrubes), the guy who does the music for Stars games (and Mavs games too, actually) spent most of the 2nd trolling the Canucks by playing nothing but Nickelback. SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS. NOTHING. BUT. NICKELBACK.
There are plenty of circumstances under which I would find this epic level of trolling hilarious, but all the Nickelback sucked the life out of the arena AND the team. We played like shit this period, and the Canucks scored a power play goal after Roussel went off for tripping.
Hard to see in the gif, but the first pk unit had been out there for almost a minute and I guess they were gassed, because Klingberg didn’t follow that pass at all and basically gave Edler a wide open lane for that slapshot. So. That wasn’t ideal.
Thankfully, Nickelback did not follow us into the third.
So ten seconds after the faceoff, which the Canucks won, by the way, the Sedin Collective gets the puck to Vrbata who just, I don’t even know, waltzes past Klingberg for a breakaway.
You can see Klingberg reaching around him as he shoots, that’s as close as he managed to get after Vrbata got around him. It just did not look like Klingberg’s game, y’all.
AND THEN. Hemsky battles behind the net with the puck, gets it out to Oduya at the top of the zone, he gets it over to Demers on the other side, Demers just takes a long shot and goooooooooooooooooooooooooooal.
It was first credited to Faksa because it looked like he redirected it, but upon video review the puck bounced several times off Sbisa’s ankles before it went in. So thanks for that one, bud.
There’s a huge scrum after Demers checks one of the Sedins (Daniel? Maybe?) that ends in matching roughings to Roussel and Tanev and ALSO one to Jason Demers. I’m starting to feel very protective of Antoine Roussel now, it’s a new thing for me. I’ll keep you updated as the feeling develops.
Anyway, we end up on the pk again but it works out for us this time.
With just under five minutes in the game, Jamie gets the puck to Klingberg and effectively screens Dorsett long enough for Klingberg to get a shot off from the top that Patrick Sharp tips in for his second of the night.
It was beautiful.
I had totally resigned myself to losing this game. I was having a conversation on twitter about how we can’t win all the games, and the start we’ve had this season has made me so much more zen about losing games now. AND THEN WE TIE IT AND I’M LIKE THIS PACK OF A-HOLES, YOU BETTER WIN.
They did not. In regulation.
Like, I’m not gonna lie you guys. I don’t mind the shootout. I’d much rather the shootout than a regular season game ending in a 0-0 tie. Or even a 3-3 tie. A TIE AT ALL. TIES ARE STUPID. THERE NEEDS TO BE A WINNER.
So anyway. Everyone and their brother on hockey twitter has been PEEING THEMSELVES over 3-on-3 OT this season and I just didn’t care that much. I’ve seen it in the AHL all last season, it’s not that exciting, like WHATEVER, am I right?
You guys. YOU GUYS. The Stars put out Jamie, Seguin, and Klingberg to start the extra time, and it was like FINALLY WATCHING HOCKEY THE WAY IT WAS MEANT TO BE PLAYED.
I don’t have a graph for this because OT just isn’t that long. There were good chances both sides before Jamie Benn [Update: Merrin had to take shelter because of severe weather, so Carolyn was tapped in to finish this recap. What follows is her impersonation of Merrin writing a recap] caught a pass from Seguin and flicked it past RYAN FUCKING MILLER (does she hate Ryan Miller that much? IDK.) FOR THE WIN WE ALL DESERVED.
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. THIS TEAM YOU GUYS. I HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS ABOUT HOW WE ARE PLAYING HOCKEY RIGHT NOW IT’S KIND OF HARD TO BREATHE SOMETIMES. SPORTS ARE THE BEST. SPORTS ARE THE WORST.
JAMIE BENN WITH AN OT WINNER.
JAMIE BENN AT THE TOP OF THE POINTS RACE (BY 3!!!).
STARS ARE TOP OF THE CONFERENCE.
HAVE SOME NUMBERS. THESE ARE 5V5, IDK.