Monday, February 18, 2013

Dallas Stars Game 16: The Good and the Bad

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Dallas Stars 4-3 loss to Calgary Flames
Shots: Dallas 30, Calgary 26
PP: Dallas 0-3, Calgary 1-5

The Good:

Penalty Kill- Other than the ugly Cammalleri goal, the penalty kill was perfect. They were strong on blocking shots and clearing the puck. They did well along the boards and several rushes and chances short-handed. They seemed to make a real effort to fix their problem of allowing cross-ice passes and it showed. Can’t really blame the unit on Cammalleri’s goal. It was coming off the end of a 5-on-3 and was really a shot that Bachman should’ve had.

Calgary goal #1: As the 5-on-3 expired Cammalleri took a shot from a bad angle, it hit off Bachman and went in.

Reilly Smith- His move to the top 6 has really paid off. He has elevated his levels of energy and puck control. He’s been creating many more opportunities and seems to be in the right place more often in the offensive zone. His goal in the second period displayed his offensive intuition, patience and skill. It may have seemed like a simple goal, but on his second attempt, to drag the puck back a little, get leverage on the stick and roof wit with a backhand shot through the crowd was really impressive.

Dallas goal #2: Stars skated in 3-on-2. Roy's shot created a rebound, Smith shot it but Macdonald stopped that. Smith got the second rebound, took it to his backhand and roofed it.

Depth scoring- It’s not good to have your top line (or two) come up empty when you need them, especially in games like this, but to have goals from guys like Roussel, Smith and Garbutt is terrific for the team. If the Stars can find a way to mesh the success of the top 6 and bottom 6 in terms of production, they could very well make the playoffs. Right now it seems like it’s either top 6 or bottom 6 is producing in each game. It’s good to know the grinders, the rookies and anyone else making the bottom 6 can contribute and the chart below (which was from FSSW’s Stars Live after the game) is quite surprising.

Dallas goal #1: Eakin's wrister from a distance was deflected by Roussel out in front.

Dallas goal #3: Garbut dropped the puck for Robidas as they entered the zone. Robidas shot it, rebound was popped in by Garbutt as he crashed the net.

The Bad:

Alex Goligoski- He frustrated me the whole night. He was a minus 2 but felt like a minus 10. He struggled controlling the puck. He didn’t pinch when needed. He failed to keep the puck in the offensive zone several times. And most of all he struggled defensively. Players kept skating by him, passing were going right through him and he was almost non-existent when it came to puck battles.

Power Play- it picked up on the final power play opportunity, but the first two were dreadful. They went back to the way of not being able to enter the zone and when they did, they couldn’t keep it there. There were moments when the Flames counter-attacked and made me forget the Stars even had the man advantage.

Depth scoring (by opponent)- When you give up three first-of-the-season goals to your opponent in the same night…. You know there’s a problem. They gave up goals throughout the Flames lineup and they were all ugly. If the opponent’s top line takes advantage of your defending, it is kind of expected. But when a 4th liner and a 3rd liner get their first goals of the season by simply attacking the puck while your defenders watch or scramble to get in position, it’s not good at all.

Calgary goal #2: wide open to pop in the rebound, Stars saw too much of this happen. Look at where Goligoski is on this play (hint: bottom left corner)

Calgary goal #3: Stempniak's feed in front to an open Stajan in the slot. look at how many Stars are at/below the goal line. Terrible coverage. 

Calgary goal #4: Bachman lost the puck once it hit the traffic out in front. By the time he saw Begin had the puck off to the side, he couldn't get in position so he threw his right pad out hoping to stop it.

Difference in periods- Simply put, there is way too much of a highs-and-lows differential in periods. The Stars had a bad first period, then the best second period of the season and then a terrible period. Arguably the first half of the third could be considered some of the worst we’ve seen this season, only to be compared to what the Flames did to the Stars last Wednesday. To be successful, there simply has to be more consistency, a more level outcome.

Lines seen tonight:
Goligoski- Larsen

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

Notable Notes:
  • Trevor Daley left the game in the second period with an upper body injury and didn’t return. 
Eriksson got a penalty. Yep. Capture it because it doesn't happen often. 

Maybe it's just me, but i really didn't like this move by Begin in the fight. I know you want to take your opponent to the ice at the end of the fight, but this just struck a nerve with me. He could've seriously injured Garbutt in this slam. 

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