Friday, March 15, 2013

Dallas Stars Game 26: The Good and the Bad

Dallas Stars 2-1 Shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks
Shots: Dallas 34, Anaheim 30
PP: Dallas 0/5, Anaheim 0/3

The Good:

Changing up the attack- I thought the Stars did a good job on the attack today. They pushed themselves to the boards or corner a few more times than I liked, but overall they did good adjustments and changed the attack. The best part of the Stars’ attack was the clear “throw it at the net” mentality. They peppered Hiller from all over the ice. The Stars started out the game entering the zone up the middle and dishing the puck to the boards for a shot. Then they changed to the opposite. They would enter the zone along the boards, and throw it to the middle for someone crashing the net. Then they tried the dump-and-chase method and created opportunities behind the net. Then, for a few really good shifts, they concentrated on possession and puck movement in the offensive zone. After that they returned to entering along the boards and looking for either a player crashing the net or a trailing player in the high slot. I was really impressed with this considering how flat, repetitive and anemic the offense was against Nashville Tuesday night. (The pictures for this paragraph are displayed under Notable Notes, for this part, I will just put the goal the Stars scored)

Dallas goal #1- It all started when Lehtonen played the puck and avoided the Selanne's forecheck. Eriksson skated the puck out of the zone and to the Anaheim blue line. He made a little pass to his left to Whitney, who dropped the puck for Goligoski. Goligoski shot the puck on net, it hit off Eriksson in front as he fell, and Whitney backhanded the puck in over Hiller's glove.

Kari Lehtonen- This game was a really strong battle of the goalies. Lehtonen made 29 saves on 30 shots, but then stopped only one of the Ducks’ 3 shootout attempts. The shots Lehtonen stopped in regulation were quality chances from all over the ice, so it was definitely a night where he fought for and earned every save. It started early, when he robbed Koivu on two great chances in the first period. Throughout the game he came up big with saves on 2-on-1 rushes, short-handed opportunities and 10 saves on the penalty kill, among others.

A good stop by Lehtonen on Cogliano that was a result of a turnover on a bad Eriksson pass.

A great post-to-post move and glove save on Beauchemin in the 2nd period. 

A great save by Lehtonen on Koivu in the 1st period. 

Energy/pace- This game had probably the best pace/energy over the entire 60 minutes that we’ve seen all season out of the Stars. The beginning especially blew me away. They came out of the gate with fiery passion, attacked the puck, finished their checks and pushed hard on rushes and counter attacks. Usually, the Stars tend to gradually work their way into that, or they start like that but it quickly dies off. Glad to see the Stars play like this against one of the best teams in the conference, now if only they can play like this against the lower-seeded teams.

Faceoffs- Roy won 11 of 20, Eakin won 7 of 11, Roussel won 4 of 8 and Fiddler won 10 of 15.

The Bad:

Philip Larsen- It was his first time back on the ice since he got hurt 7 games ago… and you could tell. Larsen seemed extremely rusty, especially in the first period. His ice time really trailed off the further the game went along. He committed a few bad turnovers and misfired a few passes. A couple of times he looked ready to shoot on net, but he lost the puck or fanned. Defensively, the only glaring mistake I saw him make was the one against Ryan that led to a breakaway. Ryan made a single move to his left that sent Larsen skating into Dillon. Ryan had open ice, but luckily he fell at the blue line. He got better and seemed more stable after the first period, but he ended up with 12:55 ice time.

Special teams- The Stars had plenty of chances with the man advantage, but just couldn’t convert. They were 0-for-5 on the power play, but one of those lasted only 16 seconds because Jagr was called for an interference penalty when he collided with Koivu in front of the Stars net. The Stars had no shots on net in four of the power plays and were cleared out of the zone 13 times. In addition, they gave up two short-handed 2-on-1 chances that fortunately didn’t result in goals. The PK didn’t give up a goal, they were 3-for-3 on the kill, but the amount of shots and chances they gave up wasn’t good. Anaheim had a shooting gallery on the power play. They fired off 14 shots, 10 of which made it to Lehtonen. The Stars only managed four clears on two of the power plays, but they did get two short-handed attacks on Hiller.

Shootout- Both sides failed for the Stars here. Lehtonen let in two goals on the three shots he faced, and both goals were very similar backhand shots over the blocker. Eriksson attempted a nifty little move to the left and pushed the puck to the right but Hiller caught on. Whitney skated straight in and shot wide right of the net. I felt like we definitely miss Ribeiro.

Both goals against Lehtonen were similar. Ryan and Getzlaf both skated in directly on Lehtonen, a little bit more to his left. Then they made a move to their left and lifted a backhand shot into the net.

Too many chances given up- I don’t have the numbers on exactly how many rushes or counter attacks the Ducks had, but safe to say it was a heck of a lot. As mentioned above in other paragraphs, the Stars gave up way too many 2-on-1’s and big, open shots.

The Ducks skated into the Stars zone with a 3-on-2 but a backchecking Eriksson evened the numbers out. However, Eriksson was caught watching on the back check, Daley fell and Goligoski failed to cut off the pass and the Ducks scored

Anaheim goal #1- The Ducks intercepted a Stars pass at their blue line and counter attacked. It was a 3-on-3 in the Stars zone, but Daley fell, Eriksson was caught watching and Goligoski couldn't cut off the pass so Cogliano was left alone to shoot on Lehtonen and then put in his own rebound.

Lines seen tonight:

PP-Smith-Eakin-Morrow-Eriksson- Goligoski
PK- Eriksson-Roy-Dillon-Robidas
PK- Cole-Eakin-Benn-Daley
PK- Roussel-Nystrom-Dillon-Robidas (because Fiddler was in the box)
PK- Fiddler-Nystrom-Dillon-Robidas

Notable Notes:
  • 25 games in, the Stars still have not had their full top 6 play together

Dillon joined in on a rush and skated right on Hiller, he went to his right and sent a backhander to the left, but it went just wide of the net.

Disallowed goal: Whitney threw the puck toward the net. Hiller went down to cover, but the puck hit off his stick and bounced away from him. The referee to the back-right of the net blew the whistle quickly not seeing the puck go loose. Roy was on the doorstep and scored, but it was waved off due to the red blowing the whistle.

A great one-timer opportunity by Roy that was stopped by Hiller.

Saw a number of these chances. This was a 2-on-1 one-timer that hit off Hiller's glove. This happened right after Smith's breakaway chance out of the box and right before Cogliano scored at the other end.

This wasn't really an great scoring chance, but a rebound did sit next to Hiller. Roy skated in and tried to put it in a tight corner, but Hiller gloved it.

After a penalty kill, Smith got a pass at the Anaheim blue line, skated in alone, but Hiller's glove got a piece of the shot for the save.

Jagr took the puck to net and after a little ping pong-ing in front, Smith shoots the puck on net. It hit off the post, off the crossbar and out. 

In the 3rd period, Cole tipped a puck past an Anaheim defender and out of the defensive zone. He raced to the puck and took it to his backhand on Hiller while Roussel trailed the play in the slot. After Hiller sprawled to make the save, the puck sat in the crease with a gaping net waiting for it. Roussel skated in for the easy tap-in, but Beauchemin cleared the puck to the boards.

This was Eriksson's next shift after Anaheim's first goal. Eriksson had hustled back but was caught watching as they scored. This time Eriksson skated on the puck carrier the whole way and poked the puck off his stick. 

Bobby Ryan made a quick move to his left and Larsen ended up colliding with Dillon. Ryan exploded from between the 3 Stars and had a breakaway, but he stumbled at the blue line.

Been keeping a close eye on the Stars' defensivework behind the net. Much better behind the net, but the man wide open in the slot is pretty worrisome.

Whitney continued his photobombing and this was the best part of it. 
Sbisa laid a hit on Garbutt from behind and Fiddler stepped up to fight. A few punches were exchanged, but Sbisa ended up on top.

Steve Ott was the newest member of the 20th Anniversary to be honored.

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