If I could make this recap nothing but a rage face, I would. But I mean, first time they’ve been shut out all season and that took 30 games? I’m not used to having nice things, I don’t know how to react when the nice things have a not so nice game.
The Stars have only had 4 games against the dreaded Central Division so far this season. They’ve won 3 of those games but lost 6-3 to the Avalanche in the second game of the regular season. And, all four of those games have been against the bottom three teams in the division.
So like. This was a test. This was a test the Stars, sadly, did not pass. Talking heads are going to point to this game as proof that the Stars won’t be able to survive a playoff series, let alone FOUR of them to get to the Cup.
To that, I say
Anyway, let’s talk about this game I guess.
I DON’T WANT TO BUT I HAVE TO.
First your Carolyn provided chart.
5v5, score-adjusted. Numbers from waronice.com. Stars ended up with 51%CF, which is impressive considering it was 28% after the first period.
So the first significant thing that happens is Jason Spezza takes a roughing penalty. But it was a roughing penalty on the face off Lehtera when Lehtera was EQUALLY AS GUILTY but whatever. I’m not bitter.
Nope, I’m bitter. The goal was credited to Steen at first but because it was CAPTAIN NIGHT (something I don’t think we heard about on the Stars broadcast but apparently the Blues broadcast wouldn’t shut up about) Backes actually tipped it in.
My computer restarted and I lost all my notes because THE UNIVERSE HATES ME but hey so some other things that happened.
Fiddler took a penalty for high-sticking against Lehtera and honestly, he must have been saying some terrible stuff to rattle our vets like that. (She says, hopefully, because who wants to think our vets can get that rattled for no reason at all.)
Steen went off for hooking, but we didn’t do anything with the power play because our first period was fricking awful.
Backes and Jamie Benn reminded us that they hate each other and they’ve hated each other for a while with this fight.
Strader and Razor were very complimentary of Jamie’s choices here, because of leadership reasons, and then about a minute later Lindbohm took some inspiration.
No one seems to care enough to have this up on youtube yet, but dude. You see what happened was Lindbohm took exception to Roussel checking . . . someone else. Roussel never really had a good grip on him or, like, much reach at all. And then Lindbohm pulled his jersey up (which I thought the fighting strap was supposed to prevent?) and kept punching him. Cheeeeap shots.
And that’s it. Intermission.
Look, all you need to know about the second period is that we had 68%CF, took zero penalties, had one power play, and didn’t manage to score. Instead let’s look at the series of tweets I dedicated to Alex Goligoski in the first period.
And that’s all that happened in the second.
So in the first five minutes of this period, two separate Stars get high-sticked. Cody Eakin’s hi-stick happens literally right in front of a ref. So who gets called for a high-stick? Jason Demers.
It’s cool, like. He actually did high-stick someone. But C’MON. The Stars could have used the FOUR MINUTES OF POWER PLAY TIME TOO. Maybe. Idk, they had 4 other man advantage opportunities they totally squandered.
And then. Well.
Tarasenko scored because why not. Backes assisted, completing his Gordie Howe hat trick, because WHY NOT.
Ryan Reaves (who is that even) also scored but there’s no gif of that one. Which is fine, once was enough.
No you see, what happened with this one is that Klingberg got the puck off a face off in front of the Blues net but HESITATED on the shot. So what happened? Scottie Upshall stole it, was out alone with literally NO ONE AROUND HIM, carried it down for a 1-on-1 with Niemi. But Niemi stopped that one! What he didn’t stop was Reaves cleaning up the garbage in front of the net, and I LITERALLY CANNOT FATHOM WHY HE GOT NO SUPPORT ON THAT. Like sure fine, okay, Upshall surprised you with that one. But none of you can manage to get the rebound? Stop the SECOND guy in? What sloppy hockey was that?
Patrick Eaves got jumped against the Blues bench because he finished a check. Did I mention I hate the Blues?
And then, despite a lot of very good tries by the Stars, the Blues win. And shut them out. Which I spoiled at the beginning of the recap and which you’ve probably already seen.
At the final buzzer, Roussel finally had enough.
I know how he feels.