Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dallas Stars Game 13: The Good and the Bad

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Dallas Stars 4-1 win at Edmonton Oilers
Shots: Dallas 29, Edmonton 36
PP: Dallas 0-3, Edmonton 0-5

The Good:

Garbutt's goal: won the race to the puck, took it to the net, withstood two hacks and still managed to pop it into the net past Dubnyk.

3rd line- Nystrom, Fiddler and Garbutt provided an evident spark. Not that Roussel was bad, but Garbutt provided more of an offensive punch than Roussel. The trio combined for 4 total points, 2 of the Stars’ goals, 5 shots, 5 hits and 2 takeaways while none of the trio registered skated more than 14 and a half minutes. They were gritty. They were strong on the forecheck. They won numerous battles in the defensive zone. Overall a strong performance from all three linemates. Fiddler’s battles along the boards directly led to both Nystrom and Garbutt’s goals.

Kari Lehtonen- Simply said, without him, the Oilers could’ve easily had 4 or 5 more goals on the board… at least. His larceny on the goal line on Nugent-Hopkins stood out as arguably the largest singular save but there were many instances of Lehtonen standing on his head for the team. He really took charge on the penalty kill. The Stars had a tendency to overcommit and over pursue on defense and he bailed them out time after time. The 35 shots were simple shots or lobs, they were on cross-ice one-timers, high-flying streaks into the zone and swift puck handling (like mostly seen from Yakupov, Hemsky and Eberle). He’s still Dallas’ best player, but as good as he is, he shouldn’t be relied on to do so much so often.

Lehtonen robbed Nugent-Hopkins on this opportunity in the 3rd period.

Pesky Stars return?- The Stars played to their M.O. from last season. Their goals were ugly, gritty goals. Dillon threw the puck at the net, it bounced off a defender, off the glass, off of Dubnyk’s back and into the net. Nystrom threw the puck through traffic from the blue line. Jagr collected a blocked shot in the slot and wristed it into the net. Garbutt charged at the net, withstood two major hacks at his feet and snapped it past Dubnyk. They didn’t fight, but they were physical, feisty and determined.

Fistric didn't play nice against his former team, but they responded with their own physicality and grittiness (and laughter like Fiddler showed in this picture).

Penalty Kill- The Stars faced a very powerful and skilled Oilers' Power Play 5 times and they killed each one. Edmonton was the 2nd best team on the PP in the league and the Stars hung in against them. Not that the PK dominated, but they survived. They didnt give up many open shots but they did give way to wide open passes and cross-ice dishes that led to quality scoring chances. Lehtonen was the best part of the PK but in general, the units worked well and kept the strong Oilers PP off the board.

Stars cut off shots, but as can be seen here, cross-ice passes were left wide open. Eberle near the left post was wide open for the pass while the shot (and any pass) was completely shut down on the right.

The Bad:

Dealing with speed- The Stars clearly had trouble handling the speed of the Oilers. For the first two periods, the Stars seemed to panic and scrap just to try to keep up with the Oilers. Whether it was cycling the puck down low, moving the puck on the power play or coming into the zone with speed and flair, the Stars really struggled to keep up. The good thing is that even though they struggled to keep up, the Stars kept grinding and got ugly goals that won them the game.

Hall blew past three Stars into the zone on his goal. The Stars looked flat-footed on the play and Eriksson seemed to backcheck until it came to actually pressuring Hall as seen in the picture.

Edmonton's goal: Hall flew into the zone and shot the puck. Lehtonen misplayed the puck and it went past his glove. One he wanted back but he more than made up for it later.

Dealing with forecheck- The secret is out on what is the most effective way to get to the Stars: throw a speedy, physical 2-man forecheck. The Stars simply couldn’t make it out of their zone most of the game. It usually took more than 3 passes just to get out of the zone. They were forcing passes, lobbing the puck out and turning it over in their own zone constantly through the first two periods. Stars need to quickly figure out how to counter the two-man forecheck if they plan on making a run at the playoffs.

Oilers always had two men deep pressuring the Stars and they did not have an answer. They struggled to get past the forecheck nearly the entire game.

Goligoski- He took a step back from his last game. He looked tentative, hesitant and unconfident. He didn’t make any major defensive mistakes and didn’t cause any goals against but he didn’t do much at the other end either.

Lines seen tonight:
Goligoski- Larsen

PP- Eriksson-Ryder-Smith-Roy-Daley
PP- Benn-Morrow-Jagr-Robidas-Goligoski
PP- Benn-Morrow-Jagr-Larsen-Goligoski
PK- Nystrom-Fiddler-Robidas-Dillon

Notable Notes:
  • Faceoffs- Stars struggled winning 27 of 50 faceoffs. Benn won 7 of 15, Roy won 8 of 16, Eakin won 7 of 13 and Fiddler won 4 of 10.

Dillon took the shot (as in the picture) from a distance. The puck hit off the defender's leg, bounced off the glass behind the net before it hit Dubnyk's back and fell into the goal. 

The moment before the puck hit off of Dubnyk's back and went into the net. ugly, strange, rare goal but Stars will take it any day.

Nystrom's goal: He and Fiddler battled along the boards, Nystrom took the puck skated from the corner to the blue line, turned around and threw the puck at the net. As seen in the picture Dubnyk didn't even see the puck through the bodies before it was too late.

Benn intercepting a pass at center ice and took the puck the other way which eventually led to Jagr's goal.

Daley took a shot at the net, it was blocked out in front, Jagr got the puck and wristed it past Dubnyk.

Just a moment/picture I liked from the game.

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