Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dallas Stars Game 29: The Good and the Bad

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Dallas Stars 4-3 loss at the Colorado Avalanche
Shots: Dallas 32, Colorado 34
PP: Dallas 0/6, Colorado 0/2

The Good:

Jaromir Jagr- Jagr was the player who really stood out for me on the Stars this game. Yes, he was always on the puck and shielding opponents off as usual, but he really stepped up this game. He registered a goal and 2 assists with three shots on goal. He added numerous other offensive chances, and sent a few cross-ice passes that barely missed or were intercepted in the slot, just missing out on a chance. He was dangerous and helped carry the team.

Dallas goal #1- Jagr enters the zone along the right wing boards. Two Stars head to the net and occupy the Avalanche defense. Jagr has some open ice to skate in and take an open wrist shot.

This is what the crease looked as the puck went into the net. Great job crashing the crease and wreaking havoc.

A breakaway chance for Jagr. You can see the defender's stick reaching ahead. It disrupted Jagr anough that he didn't get all of the shot off and Varlamov made the save.

Jagr held the puck near the blue line long enough to garner the attention of two Avalanche players. he then dished a pass off the boards to Daley, who had open ice to skate at the net.

Dallas goal #2- With the open ice provided by Jagr, Daley got the puck off the bounce off the boards, took a few strides at the net and wristed it through Varlamov's legs.

Jagr set up many chances to score, including this Eakin one-timer in the slot the just went wide.

Keeping up with the game- This game was a very up-tempo, high-flying game. Yes, the game was sloppy, but it was also intense with constant back-and-forth counters and physicality. The Stars haven’t played many games with this style, but they did a pretty good job of it tonight. The few times they played this way for a full 60 minutes (or close to it) was against top-end teams. It looked like they could handle it, but they still end up losing most of those games. It’s good to know that they can play with this pace and physicality, they just need to be able to pull out a win.

Dallas goal #3- Jagr was in the corner and passed the puck to Whitney behind the net. He circled the puck all the way around to the front of the net and backhanded the puck through the bodies and into the goal.

The Bad:

Holding a lead- Yet again, the Stars cannot hold on to a lead. They had a 2-0 lead in the first and made the Avalanche look lost. They dominated the first 20 minutes and really should have had even more goals on the board. Then, for some reason, they lost it. And the roles of the teams turned. It was the Avalanche pressuring the puck and forcing turnovers. It was the Avalanche keeping the puck in the offensive zone. It was the Avalanche attacking in numbers and counter-attacking quickly out of their defensive zone. And then to not only lose a 3-2 lead in the third, but to also lose the game in regulation (and by giving up a goal with under five minutes left) is just killer.

Again we see a bad set up behind the net and three Stars were outworked by two Avalanche. Roussel failed to clear and the puck was turned over, leading to the goal. 

Colorado goal #1- The Avalanche flew into the zone and won the race to the dumped puck. They outworked the Stars behind the net and forced a turnover. A shot from the slot went wide, hit off the back boards and Olver was there to bang in the rebound.

Colorado goal #3- O'Reilly raced out of his own zone, got a pass at center ice and skated into the offensive zone. His speed got him a little behind Robidas, and he had enough room to wrist a shot past Lehtonen's blocker.

Colorado goal #4- With 3:29 left, a shot from the boards hit Robidas in the head. He fell to the ice in pain, and Kobasew and Olver were in great position. Kobasew tucked the puck in past Lehtonen.

Dealing with the forecheck- The Stars could not handle Colorado’s puck pressure and forecheck. They were hounding the Stars before they could look up to get out of the zone. Landeskog’s short-handed goal in the second period is the clearest way to show it. They attacked the Stars while on the PK, and an aggressive forecheck forced Daley to back off of skating the puck out of the zone. He chose to pass the puck up the boards and Landeskog pounced on it to take it the other way for a goal. It’s not that the Stars panic against aggressive puck pressure, they just make bad decisions with the puck.

An example of the Avalanche hounding the Stars as they try to exit the zone. There were almost always two with heavy pressure on the forecheck.

Another shot of the Avalanche forecheck that handicapped the Stars.

Power play- 0-for-6 pretty much explains it. Giving up the team’s first short-handed goal against should also explain it. I counted at least 12 clears against, which doesn’t sound bad, but when you consider that two power plays were fractions of 2 minutes, it’s pretty bad. And on those 6 power plays, they managed 6 shots on goal.

This is a shot of the puck's bounce off the boards that went between two Stars players. They watched the puck as Landeskog raced into the zone, took the puck and scored off a 2-on-1.

Colorado goal #2- Landeskog gets a 2-on-1 rush after intercepting Dale's outlet pass. Daley lays down to cover an pass attempt. Landeskog's initial shot was stopped by Lehtonen, but Landeskog was left alone in front of the net to put in his own rebound.

Injuries- They lost Whitney and Robidas. Whitney was having a great game, really controlling and moving the puck well. And his goal was a thing of beauty, unbelievable patience and poise. He was creative offensively and when he left in the third, it hurt. True Robidas left with under 5 minutes left in the game, but his presence on offense and especially on defense was missed. He probably would’ve been out on the ice instead of Jordie in the final seconds and leadership and play in the defensive zone would’ve helped.  

Robidas was hit by a shot from the boards. He fell to the ice and held his head, and play continued around him.

It did not look good as Robidas stayed on the ice for a while. He was helped to the locker room and was holding a towel over the ear hole of his helmet.

Lines seen tonight:

PP-Morrow-Roy-Cole-Jo. Benn-Goligoski
PK-Fiddler-Nystrom-Jo. Benn-Daley

Notable Notes:
  • Faceoffs- Benn won 11 of 23, Roy won 10 of 17, Eakin won 4 of 8, Fiddler won 4 of 8.
Jack Campbell was called up from the AHL and dressed as the backup.

A really good save in tight by Lehtonen.

This was another great save by Lehtonen. The puck took a few crazy hops and was banged around before Lehtonen had to stretch to make the final save on the play.

An interfernce penalty on Landeskog that could've been ugly for Lehtonen.

Nystrom fought Hejda and provided a bit of a momentum boost for the Stars in the second period. (Getty Images)

Whitney scored on this play, but it was waved off due to Cole being in the crease. He was pushed into the blue paint, and as he tried to skate out of it, he collided with Varlamov's right leg.

A bit of a rough night for Nystrom. Early in the first, he was streaking to the net and deflected a pass on goal, but was sent sliding back-first into the end boards. 

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