Monday, April 15, 2013

Dallas Stars Game 42: The Good and the Bad

Getty Images

Dallas Stars 5-2 loss at the Chicago Blackhawks
Shots: Dallas 18, Chicago 28
PP: Dallas 0/1, Chicago 0/4

The Good:

Battling back- The Stars were dominated in the first period. They were just trying to survive, and there was no hiding it. I think they entered the Chicago zone with control of the puck for more than two seconds only five times the first period, but they turned it around in the second. They came out fast and physical. They took it to the Blackhawks. As weird as it sounds, when they went down 2-0 they picked it up a little bit, and when Benn scored his first goal, they definitely picked up the pace. It was a kick in the pants that sparked the Stars. That is, until the Hawks came back with two relatively quick goals in the third period to go up 4-2. That didn’t deter them still, as they kept on the attack (though relatively slower and less confident), and had a few chances after pulling Bachman.

The Stars' first goal started when Benn intercepted a pass by Kane and led a 3-on-1 the other way.

The Stars came in on the 3-on-1 with a good set up, but they almost messed it up when Whitney and Benn ran out of real estate short side on Emery. 

Dallas goal #1- Benn enters the Chicago zone, turns around to skate backwards and passes it to Whitney. Whitney passes it back and Benn wrists it past Emery short side. 

Dallas goal #2- A clearing attempt by the Blackhawks hit the linesman and Goligoski picked up the puck near center ice. He passed it cross-ice to Whitney along the right boards. Whitney entered the zone and dropped the puck for Benn. Benn wristed the puck on net using a screen by Keith and a deflection off Handzus' stick. 

A better shot of Benn's second goal. You can see how Emery got fouled up on the shot after the deflection and screen. 

Penalty kill- If anything really was really solid for the Stars, it was their PK. They were a perfect 4-for-4 on the kill. They threw out all the units we’re used the seeing and didn’t do anything different, just were more effective and made better decisions. The fact that the Stars shut down units including players like Kane, Toews, Hossa, Saad, Keith and Seabrook is outstanding. Even if the Hawks PP has been in a little bit of a slump recently.  

The Bad:

Outworked and overmatched- I couldn’t even count how many odd-man rushes the Blackhawks had. I understand the Stars had to press and take risks but, they didn’t just happen when the Stars were down 4-2. It was throughout the game. The play that showed the Stars were simply being outworked was the Stalberg goal. Fiddler won the faceoff, but Cole was staring at the puck waiting for it to come to him. Stalberg jumped on it, took it down the ice, got between a flat-footed Rome and an outmatched Larsen and scored. Toews wreaked havoc on the forecheck and the stars again had the same problem they’ve had all season: (see below).
On the play leading to Chicago's second goal, Fiddler won the faceoff, but Stalberg was first to jump on it. Cole was caught staring at the puck while Stalberg took the puck and skated it up ice. 

He received a pass from Handzus as he skated between Rome and Larsen.

Chicago goal #2- All that was left for him to do was take it to the net and beat Bachman high blocker. 

Turnovers in own zone- Millionth verse, same as the first. It seemed like almost every Stars player committed one of these. That’s how it seemed. Notably, the turnovers of Robidas, Fraser, Goligoski and Daley created quality scoring chances on Bachman. Can’t progress or win if they don’t fix this nagging problem.
This is one example of a quality scoring chance created off a turnover by the Stars in their own zone.

The Stars lost the puck in the corner and Saad ended up with the puck. Saad held on and saw this huge lane to pass to a wide open Hossa. 

Chicago goal #1- Saad's pass reaches Hossa and he throws it on net. Toews gets behind Robidas and he tips in the feed from Hossa.

Another huge opportunity built off a Stars turnover. Luckily this one slid just wide of the net. 

Dumb/unnecessary penalties- Cole held Toews’ stick when he was nowhere near the puck and not battle along the boards. It was after a faceoff, well after the puck was gone. Wandell put his hand on the puck to win a faceoff, a new penalty that all the other Stars learned to avoid from the first month of the season. Roussel was called for interference when he checked Frolik in the back directly in front of the Chicago bench. Yes, they were perfect on the PK, but momentum was killed and the Stars had to survive those two minutes each time.

Too many icings- Sounds simple, but it can really hurt a team. The second period was brutal for the Stars in icings. And it hurt more when the center (like Fiddler) would get thrown out to face someone like Toews. Plus, Gulutzan had to burn a timeout in the second period just to help his guys get a breather, and they immediately got another icing on the ensuing faceoff.

Chiasson hurt- Chiasson was hurt after getting hit behind the Chicago net 1:08 into the second period. It messed up the top line, caused line changes throughout the lineup and he was the hottest player the Stars had coming into the game. 6 goals in 6 games and good chemistry with Whitney and Benn. They sorely missed him.
Chiasson skated behind the Chicago net to be first on the puck. He passed the puck back to Benn, but as soon as he turned around, he was hit. 

Apparently the hit hurt his shoulder or arm. He left the game less than two minutes into the second period and did not return.

Lines seen tonight:


PP- Eriksson-Benn-Fraser-Whitney-Goligoski
PP- Nystrom-Fiddler-Cole-Whitney-Robidas
PK- Eakin-Eriksson-Dillon-Goligoski
PK- Benn-Cole-Daley-Robidas
PK- Roussel-Garbutt-Dillon-Goligoski
PK- Eakin-Cole-Daley-Robidas

Notable Notes:
Faceoffs- Benn won 6 of 20, Eakin won 7 of 12, Fiddler won 11 of 20, Wandell won 4 of 6.

Chicago goal #3- Kane carries the puck into the Dallas zone. He attracts four Stars which leaves Andrew Shaw open trailing the play. He takes a wrist shot that goes five-hole on Bachman.

Another angle of the Shaw goal. 

Chicago goal #4- A great outlet pass springs Hossa into the Dallas zone. Dillon dives and pokes the puck away. Hossa beats Goligoski to the loose puck, and he passes it to Hjalmarsson who was trailing the play. He was lots of time and space to wind up and blast the puck over Bachman's glove. 

Chicago goal #5- With Bachman pulled, Hossa was first on a loose puck in the Dallas zone. He looked for a pass, but saw that he wasn't able to. He decided to fire it past a sprawled Larsen for the empty net goal. 

Huge save by Bachman in the first period. 

A big save by Bachman in the first, and he covered the puck to end the play. 

Hossa had a big backhand chance in front of Bachman, but he did a good job of taking up space in the net and swallowing the rebound.

A big hit by Seabrook on Garbutt in the first period. 

Eriksson had a great chance in the third period with time and space in front of the net, but he shot it high and wide.

A wraparound chance by Fiddler that was stopped and covered by Emery.

Goligoski had a good chance in the slot, but failed to hit the net.

Nothing significant. I just liked this picture and chuckled a little bit trying to guess their conversation.


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