Sunday, October 6, 2013

Dallas Stars Game 2: The Good and the Bad

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Dallas Stars defeat the Washington Capitals 2-1.
Shots: Dallas 21, Washington 26
PP: Dallas 0/2, Washington 1/3
Hits: Dallas 26, Washington 28
Faceoffs: Dallas 25, Washington 27
Blocked Shots: Dallas 14, Washington 10

The Good:

Penalty kill- The PK was strong after giving up the first goal to Ovechkin and the Capitals. They simply gave Ovechkin too much room to shoot and watched passes. On the second penalty kill, the Stars did a great job of winning puck battles and clearing the zone efficiently. I counted 3 clears, a save by Kari and one shot allowed. The final kill was thrown off when Peverley fouled up an easy clear leading to two shots on goal nearly tying the game at the buzzer. Other than the failed clear, they blocked a shot, clear the puck once and Fiddler single-handedly killed 11 seconds by winning battles along the boards against three Caps in their own zone.

This is from the first PK, seconds before Ovechkin scored. You can see how much room he was left with at the top. The middle was taken away, but if the puck could somehow make it to Ovechkin...

Washington goal #1- Green collects the puck near the blue line and passes it to a wide open Ovechkin parked in his usual power play position in the right circle for the goal. 

The PK looks the same as the first photo, but this is better in that the focus is on Ovechkin. Also more emphasis was put on stopping passes across the middle. Two passes across the middle were actually stopped or deflected on this PK. 


Chiasson- He finds a way. It’s as simple as that. He just finds a way to get the puck in the net. Chiasson is more than just a player with a nose for the net, though. His puck support in his own zone and throwing a hit along the boards led to a turnover which prompted the 3-on-2 that he eventually scored on. Several times Chiasson was seen hustling back to his zone, using his body to protect the puck in the neutral zone, or entering the offensive zone with speed.

Chiasson is in the bottom left corner of the picture. He is the one on the right. Here, Chiasson's puck support on the backcheck led to a turnover. He skated into the zone and put a body on his man which knocked the puck loose.

A 3-on-1 ensued with Whitney crashing the front of the net occupying both Washington defenders. Chiasson and Eakin were left open to set up the play. 

Dallas goal #2- Eakin entered the zone, passed the puck back to Chiasson and then fired the puck on net when Chiasson returned it to him. The rebound bounced out front, and Chiasson's nose for the net puts him in position to net the game-winner. 

Chiasson's celly.


Backchecking forwards- This is big result of the new emphasis on defensemen pinching more this season. It’s a love/hate relationship. A couple of pinches led to offensive opportunities, including the Cole goal in the first period and another great chance for Cole in the third. On the other hand, it also led to a few breakaways or odd-man rushes the other way. Cole eliminated what could’ve been a 2-on-0 and an earlier backcheck turned a 3-on-1 to a stifled 3-on-3.

My favorite defensive play of the game. Daley stretched out on the ice to block a pass through the slot on a 2-on-1 break. 

Cole came back in the zone and helped turned a potential 3-on-1 into a 3-on-3.

The best backcheck of the night. This could have easily been a 2-man breakaway, but Cole's backcheck resulted in a rushed shot that hit the post and went out of play. 


Cole- Everything mentioned about him the above paragraph plus his solid goal in the first period.

Dallas goal #1- Robidas makes an aggressive pinch along the right wing boards to keep the puck in the zone. Benn gets the puck behind the net to Seguin who makes a quick-look behind-the-back pass to a wide open Cole in the slot.




The Bad:

Power play- They weren’t as bad as Thursday night against the Panthers, but there needs to more from the man advantage. I counted 7 clears, 3 blocked shots, a shot off the post, a shot wide of the net and a short-handed chance for the Caps on the two power play opportunities from the Stars.

Leaving the point open- As Razor pointed out, the Stars did not do very well against shots from the point. They did much better than last season at taking away the middle of the ice and keeping most of the shots and players to the outside, but shots from the point can be just as dangerous if left completely wide open. I noticed four players below the faceoff dots several times in the game leaving the points wide open.

Just an example of the Stars taking away the middle, but leaving the point wide open.


Lines seen tonight:
Benn-Seguin-Cole
Whitney-Eakin-Chiasson
Horcoff-Fiddler-Nichushkin
Garbutt-Peverley-Roussel
Gonchar-Goligoski
Dillon-Robidas
Daley-Jordie Benn

PP- Benn-Cole-Chiasson-Seguin-Gonchar
PP- Horcoff-Eakin-Nichushkin-Whitney-Goligoski
PP- Whitney-Peverley-Eakin-Daley-Goligoski
PK- Fiddler-Horcoff-Jordie Benn-Daley (Robidas in the box)
PK- Eakin-Chiasson-Jordie Benn- Daley (Horcoff in the box)
PK- Peverley-Roussel-Robidas-Dillon (Horcoff in the box)        
PK- Peverley-Fiddler-Daley-Robidas (Seguin in the box)

Notable Notes:

Washington scored on this play but it was disallowed because it was deemed Backstrom interfered with Lehtonen.

Hit of the night: Ovechkin destroyed Robidas in the first period.

Stars hit of the night: Dillon with a big hit off a suicide pass in the neutral zone during the third period.

Whitney had a few open chances on the night and this one was set up by Chiasson behind the net.

A big shot by Ovechkin that hit off the post and off Lehtonen's leg. You can see the puck between Lehtonen's legs, but Dillon was in position to get the puck out safely.

This was one of several Caps shots off the post. Lehtonen didn't see it until after it hit the iron.

Another one of Whitney's great (missed) chances. He stole a d-to-d pass, but slapped the puck right into Holtby's chest. 

Peverley had two wide open tip-in chances but missed both.

Peverley bounced this chance off the far post during the Stars' second power play.

Part of the mayhem at the buzzer. A shot/pass deflected off Daley's stick and forced Lehtonen to make a big shoulder stop. 

Lehtonen then had to make two stops on the rebound as time expired to seal the victory. 


video
A funny call by the ref. He was mid-conversation with Horcoff when he made this call. 

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