Monday, April 1, 2013

Dallas Stars Game 35: The Good and the Bad

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Dallas Stars lose 4-0 to the Anaheim Ducks
Shots: Dallas 26, Anaheim 30
PP: Dallas 0/4, Anaheim 1/2

The Good:

Nothing deserves to go here. The Stars didn't come out flat, but they sure flatlined after getting scored on. They looked interested in winning the game the first half of the first period and the first couple of minutes of the third period. Very few players seemed to play hard the whole 60 minutes, and very few seemed to care. There was a lot of head hanging, shoulder slumping and blank stares happening throughout the game. Jagr was shown getting to the bench in the last minute of the game and he looked upset. He sat next to Nystrom and they talked. Nystrom shrugged his shoulders and seemed to say something along the lines of him not knowing what else to do or what is going on. That was pretty much the general feeling of many people watching the game.

The Bad:

Terrible two's- The Stars continue their ineptitude in the middle frame. Still not sure what happens to them, something mental, or simply not making adjustments, but the Stars tend to get dominated in the second. They  were manhandled in their own zone by the Ducks in these 20 minutes. They outshot Anaheim 14-10, but the score ended up 3-0 in favor of the Ducks. The goals were scored due to a combination of problems the Stars have been struggling with throughout this season. Here's what I saw on the goals.

Anaheim goal #1- On the power play, the Stars were all caught staring at Getzlaf along the left wing boards. He sent a cross-ice pass to a completely wide open Ryan. He set his target and rifled a wrist shot short side past Lehtonen. Look at how much room Ryan has to get the puck, settle, take a peak and shoot.

A better shot of Ryan's goal just inside the post.

Anaheim goal #2- Getzlaf sent an innocent-looking shot toward the net from near the blue line. It bounced off Lehtonen's right pad and Perry popped it in over Lehtonen's right shoulder. Looking at this image, you can see Robidas didn't tie up Perry instead he tried to get to the puck first, but Perry beat him to it, giving him a free shot on net.

Anaheim goal #3- Beleskey attempted a wrap around shot from behind the net. The rebound bounced off Lehtonen out front. All five Stars were in front of the goal, on top of the puck, yet none of them could clear it or secure it. Again, they were caught staring at the puck and Beleskey was able to bury his own rebound.

Another view of all the Stars in position, but just staring and getting beaten to the puck.

Power play- 0-for-4 for a team that got the penalties at good moments to take the lead or mount a comeback in the game. The first power play unit looked good their first time out. They moved the puck well, got good looks on net, kept the puck in the Ducks' zone. But after that, it just seemed to fall apart. It got to the point where the Ducks had a 2-on-1 short-handed opportunity that Lehtonen bailed the team out of.

Turnovers, clearing the front of the net, exiting the zone- these are all old problems that keep coming up, and this game was no different. It was cringe-worthy watching the Stars try to get out of the zone. Body language and effort dwindled after they were scored on. Two goals came on simple plays that would've been eliminated by hustling to the puck and clearing it or tying up an opponent in front of the net.

Lines seen tonight:

PK-Eakin-Cole-Dillon- Robidas

Notable Notes:

  • Faceoffs-  Benn won 12 of 23, Roy won 5 of 11, Eakin won 8 of 15, Roussel won 3 of 6.

Benn had a great chance early in the game. 

Fasth got a piece of the puck with his blocker. Just enough for the save.

A huge hit by Dillon early in the game.

A great chance by Eriksson stopped by Fasth.

Eriksson rang a shot off the post in the first period. It bounced off the post to Fasth's right and cleared out on the left.

Another set up by Jagr from behind the net, Nystrom shot it just wide.

Whitney was wrongfully called offsides on this play. He was in on a breakaway, if the whistle didn't blow the play dead. 

A really good chance late for Whitney on the power play, but again stopped by Fasth.

Wathier didn't seem to do much. He ended with five hits. 

Stu Barnes was honored before the game for being a member of the Stars' 20th Anniversary team.

Stu's surprised reaction to the ovation by the fans cracked me up.

Ceremonial pre-game faceoff.


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