Saturday, March 9, 2013

Dallas Stars Game 24: The Good and the Bad

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Dallas Stars 2-1 loss at the Phoenix Coyotes
Shots: Dallas 21, Phoenix 21
PP: Dallas 1/5, Phoenix 0/2

The Good:

Kari Lehtonen- Same old, same old. The team’s rock. He made some monstrous saves in the first period, a couple of which were from right up the slot. He did get some pretty good help from his teammates this game and he wasn’t completely at fault for the Coyotes’ goals, especially the second one. He was in position on the first goal, but the open man behind the icing line and a shot that squeaked through the pads did him in. On the second goal, the puck took a good Phoenix bounce and Gordon made a pass to a wide open Klinkhammer that Lehtonen could only dive and pray to stop.

A big save by Lehtonen that got a little hectic in front of the net. 

Another angle of the Lehtonen save.

A big save by Lehtonen on Moss. And this was on a rebound opportunity. 

Penalty Kill- Yes, they only had to kill two penalties, but the manner of their kills were great. They didn’t create short-handed chances, but they gave the Coyotes no space. There were no big lanes to pass through, no clear shots on goal. Multiple clears and swarming pressure worked very well.

1st line- This, overall, was the best line of the night for the Stars. The Fiddler line was the best on the forecheck and creating turnovers, but the first line managed to provide the most offensive pressure, as they should. Several times, they were able to keep the puck in the offensive zone their entire shift, looking almost like a power play. Benn, Jagr and Eriksson can all be considered set up men, but they got 5 shots on Mike Smith. That doesn’t account for how many shots of their hits the post, the outside of the net and the shot-blockers in front.
Benn's took a shot off the post on one of the power plays. 

The Bad:

Power play- It’s not that they were terrible on the power play, this is more about taking advantage of golden opportunities. They managed one goal on two separate 5-on-3’s. when you’re down by a goal, and you get a 5-on-3, you have to get take advantage and net at least the tying goal. The Stars didn’t even manage many shots on the opportunity. They did look good in terms of puck possession and puck movement. They seemed very in control and patient and waited to get their looks before shooting. That’s good, but not on a 5-on-3 in the third when you’re down by a goal.

Dallas goal #1- Jagr got a pass from Eriksson down low in the zone. He curled up and toward the middle of the zone before wristing the puck into the net. 

Another angle of the Jagr goal. This better shows the bodies that the puck went through to get into the net. 

Defense behind the net- Again the Stars’ weakness of defense behind the icing line cost them. Both of the Coyotes goals were keyed by plays behind the net. The Stars did better at keeping the Coyotes moving behind the net, but did not do as well taking the puck back there or marking their man out front.

Korpikoski (top right) passed the puck back to a trailing Ekman-Larsson. You can see the space that was open along the left for Ekman-Larsson once he spun past Nystrom. take a look at the line of 3 Stars in the middle, not sure that's how you want to be set up in your own zone. 

Phoenix goal #1- Vermette was left open below the goal line and made the pass out front to Doan for the goal. 

Another angle of Doan's goal. You can see the tiny space between Lehtonen's legs where Doan put the puck. 

Phoenix goal #2- Moss (bottom center) was behind the net in a little scrum with Robidas and Fraser skated by. The puck came out to Gordon (top left), and he passed it across to a wide open Klinkhammer. 

This was the scene of the goal. It was Klinkhammer's first career NHL goal. 

Too long to make play- Just simply wanted to say the Stars looked like they took a bit too long on their shooting chances throughout the night. The Coyotes are known as a good shot-blocking team, and they blocked 30 shots this game, but a few times the Stars should’ve pulled the trigger a tad bid faster. This was most prevalent from the players along the blue line. They waited a second too long to shoot and either the shot was blocked or never even got off. I understand trying to get a good shot on net, but if you’re worried about the shot being blocked, standing still for a second usually doesn’t result in an open lane when the blocker is locked in.

Lines seen tonight:
Benn- Daley

PP- Jagr-Benn-Eriksson-Cole-Goligoski
PP- Eakin-Smith-Roy –Jo. Benn-Daley
PP- Jagr-Benn-Eriksson-Cole-Robidas
PK- Fiddler-Nystrom-Dillon-Robidas
PK- Cole-Roy- Benn-Daley
PK- Eakin-Roussel-Dillon-Robidas

Notable Notes:
  • Jamie Benn left the game with 1:27 left when Martin Hanzal laid a big hit that knocked him flat on the ice. Benn took some time to get up and skated directly to the locker room. 
Benn in the aftermath of the hit. 

Benn took a shot and it rattled around on the defender in front of him, and then Hanazl came in for the hit. Seemed to be pretty late and Hanzal's shoulder hit Benn's head first. Hanzal could be in for some disciplinary action. 

Stars forwards did a good job of hurrying for a back check, like Fiddler in this picture. 

This was a great opportunity for Daley on the 5-on-3, but Smith made a good save and gave up no rebound. 

Fiddler broke in on a breakaway but backhanded the puck up and over the crossbar.

An Eriksson chance after Benn's shot hit off the post. You can see the puck barely on the outside of the post. 

A good save by Smith on a shot that bounced off him, up and over his shoulder and fell to the side of the net. 

Another good save by Smith that bounced around a little. He kicked the puck out and little bit of "anarchy," as Razor put it, ensued. 

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