Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dallas Stars Game 5: The Good and the Bad (With Pictures)

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Dallas Stars lose 4-3 to St. Louis Blues
Shots: Dallas 23, St. Louis 32
PP: Dallas 1-4, St. Louis 0-3

The Good:

Special teams- The Stars finally had a night where they were strong on both sides of special teams. Their PK shut out the league’s best power play team and Ryder scored a power play goal after a long sequence of passes and keeping the puck in the Blues’ zone. The PK was aggressive and cleared out many good opportunities.
Stars PK with some strong positioning, covering the point, cutting off passing lanes and pushing out the man in front of the net. 

Forecheck- I felt like the Stars had a very aggressive, very strong forecheck. They made the Blues earn their space and fought for their trips up ice. Specifically, I thought Eakin and Smith stood out to me. They would hassle and harass on the forecheck. The Stars’ forecheck forced a turnover that led to Garbutt’s goal in the 3rd.

Faceoffs- The Stars had a really good night winning 33 of 60 faceoffs. That may not sound too good, but when you take into consideration who they were missing and what their centers looked like on paper compared to the Blues, it was great. The best for the Stars, again, were Fiddler (9-of-16) and Eakin (15-of-26), but they were also aided by a couple of fillers in Nystrom (2-for-2) and Whitney (4-for-4).

Puck support- With the way the Blues play, the Stars knew they had to be strong in terms of puck support to have a chance to win. Gulutzan said so himself before the game. The Stars seemed spaced apart pretty well and there almost always was assistance along the boards during puck battles. They managed to outnumber the Blues along wall most of the night. Winning puck battles led to both of the Stars’ goals in the 1st period

Newbies- Sceviour got a takeaway which led to an assist and took a couple of big hits to make plays and Vincour scored a goal in his return to the Stars lineup. Considering who was out of the Stars’ lineup tonight, it was very positive to get contributions from these two.

Biggest hit of the night. And Sceviour took that just to get the puck out of the zone.

The Bad:

Injuries- The Stars faced their first real injury-plagued game of the season. Roy was out with soreness, Jagr is day-to-day with a back injury and Lehtonen had tweaked something the in the last game. Benn was injured but he wasn’t able to suit up for this game, so consider that another loss in the lineup. And then in the 3rd, Nilstorp got hurt after he spread his legs to make a save on Mcdonald. After making the save, he was flat on the ice and slow to get up. That was with 16:29 left in the period. He labored on making several more saves, but he was clearly in pain and uncomfortable. Finally with 7:41 left he was replaced by Lehtonen. Hopefully this won’t be repeated because Roy and Jagr are expected back next game and Benn should also join the team at that time.

The play where Nilstorp hurt his groin. 

Daley’s turnovers- From my account, Daley had two huge turnovers in his own zone that directly led to two Blues goals. First, Daley had trouble clearing the puck and lost a battle along the boards to Berglund. Berglund took the puck, skated at the net and passed the puck across ice and in between Nilstorp and Rome to Stewart to one-timed it in. that gave the Blues the lead. And on St. Louis’ 4th goal, Daley attempted to clear the pass by passing the puck up ice, along the ice, up the middle of the zone. Tarasenko intercepted the pass at the blue line and passed it right to Perron, who took a few strides and wristed it past Nilstorp.

Aaron Rome- He was either seen on the ice when the Stars got scored on or was mostly invisible. He did bring in toughness, starting a couple of scuffles in front of Nilstorp, and he also landed 3 hits, but he managed a giveaway and was a -2 on the night.

Screens- simply put, Nilstorp didn't stand a chance at a couple of the goals. The Blues kept sending two players in front of the net, and it seemed like the Stars' defense couldn't do much to move them.

Nilstorp had two big bodies, mostly Stewart, in front of him blocking his vision on the Blues' first goal.

Can you spot Perron and/or the puck? Nilstorp didn't have a chance to see the puck on this goal.

Lines seen tonight:


Notable Notes:

  • 11 years ago to the day, Hitchcock was relieved of his duties as Stars’ coach, he came back to Dallas and won. 
                                              Always good to see Hitch! The memories...

Whitney's photobomb.

Stars setting up well in their zone. Early on, with this set up, they forced the Blues to the outside.

The Blues' first goal. Sobotka drew out two Stars himself leaving Redden wide open at the right point for the shot.

Vincour's goal. A heck of a pass between 3 Blues from Fiddler for the set up.

I liked seeing this. May not be ideal, but it completely shut down the attack. 

Can't get enough of the green Batman mask.

Ryder's goal.

Reilly Smith had a unbelievable chance out of the penalty box, but it went just outside the post.

This was the pass from Berglund to Stewart. Never should have made it to Stewart to begin with.

Garbutt's goal. Morrow on the far left had the no-look, behind-the-back pass.

Whitney's shot with 1:07 left in the game banged off the left post!

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