Sunday, February 3, 2013

Dallas Stars Game 9: The Good and Bad (With Pictures)

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Dallas Stars 2-0 loss at Phoenix Coyotes
Shots: Dallas 17, Phoenix 34
PP: Phoenix 1-7, Dallas 0-1 (power play was about 40 seconds long)

The Good:

Penalty kill- Again the PK was strong and again they were called on a lot. 7 opportunities? It’s pretty good especially compared to being on the power play only one (for less than a minute). Gulutzan has been sticking with set lines as much as possible and the units set up for the PK are doing really well together. Nothing new or needed to change here, only taking less penalties.

This seems to be the strongest unit and set up for the Stars' PK this season.

Richard Bachman- In his first start of the season, he faced a whopping 34 shots, stopping 32 of them. They faced a variety of shots and really did well overall. He did especially well tracking down the puck through the crowds in front of him. He didn’t seem as strong at rebound control as last season, but that might be fixed with more playing time. Such a relief to see the Stars with 3 strong goalies to rotate and don’t forget Jack Campbell is on the way as well. The two mistakes Bachman made ended up in the back of the net (should’ve stopped Johnson’s goal and let a big rebound from the point lead to Boedker’s goal), but other than that he kept the Stars in the game.
Awesome mask with a tribute to The Shining.

Stars first line- out of the Stars’ embarrassing 17 shots, Jagr, Benn and Morrow had 9 shots. They forced many turnovers, created lots of chances, but they just couldn’t capitalize. Benn played his best game of the season. His skating was better, his passing was much more on target and he clearly took over the game for the Stars when he was on the ice. Jagr had 4 shots, but his passing stood out more to me. He faced a lot of pressure, lots of times from two Coyotes, but managed to get lots of setups for good chances. Morrow didn’t necessarily excel in this top-6 opportunity, but he did decent on the back check , threw his body around and had a few chances in front of Mike Smith.

Jamie Oleksiak- His second game was really strong. He seemed a little hesitant and lost a few times in his first game, but this game was completely different. He seemed, calm and confident. He used his reach several times in behind the Stars net (a place where Stars defensemen have been playing horribly). His passing out of the zone was crisp and safe, and he used his big frame to throw 6 hits, block 3 shots and gain great defensive positioning. It’s going to be great to see his progression and development.

The Bad:            

Dumb penalties- not sure what is going on in between the ears, but the Stars can’t kick this debilitating habit. Fiddler, Garbutt, ryder (twice) took penalties in the offensive zone. And they were for different types of penalties. And Robidas took an interference penalty hitting a player as he entered the zone. I understand that call has some new attention on it and is being called a lot stingier than in previous years, but after the second or third penalty like this, you would think they would stop doing it. And then any chance the Stars had at making a comeback late in the game went away when Roussel was called for roughing with 2:43 left. And to be more infuriating, it was taken in the unnecessary aftermath of a play in front of Bachman. Post-game interviews revealed a growing frustration by Gulutzan and the players at all of the dumb penalties. Not sure where this trend came from and why it’s still happening, but it needs to be eliminated quickly or the Stars will be fighting for last place in the league.

Turnovers in defensive zone- wasn’t as widespread as in a few previous games, but it was still a big problem. In the second half of the 3rd period, they had 4 turnovers that resulted in tremendous scoring chances for the Coyotes.

Anemic offense- Just like with the Stars’ offense, there’s not much going on in this paragraph. 17 shots? How do you not throw pucks at the net from anywhere when you’re down 2-0 late in the 3rd? Oh yeah, it’s because they were strangled by the Coyotes defense at that point. But getting only 17 shots on goal is just embarrassing, especially when you consider that they were doubled up in shots by the Coyotes. In the second period, they went over 17 minutes in between shots on goal. Unbelievable.

Faceoffs- Stars still struggling here. Benn won 7-of-16, Eakin 12-of-24, Roussel 2-of-4 and Eakin won 5-of-9. Morrow won his two faceoffs but Nystrom lost the three he took and Eriksson lost the lone draw he took.  

Lines seen tonight:

PK- Fiddler-Nystrom-Dillon-Robidas

Notable Notes:
  • Ray Whitney out 4-6 weeks with broken foot
  • Roy and Nilstorp still out with injuries
  • Stars are 1-14-2 over the last two seasons in the 2nd game of a back-to-back

Coyotes' 1st goal. Defense played 2-on-1 and left shot to Bachman but shot ended up being taken in the slot and just past Bachman's blocker.

Biggest hit of the night. Yandle landed a clean hip check on sent Roussel flying.

Coyotes' second goal started on this faceoff that should've never been. Look at how much Vermette is cheating on the draw. Eakin had no chance of winning the faceoff. A few passes, a hard shot from the point and a rebound later, Boedker puts Phoenix up 2-0.

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