Saturday, October 12, 2013

Dallas Stars Game 3: The Good and the Bad

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Dallas Stars defeat the Winnipeg Jets 4-1.
Shots: Dallas 31, Winnipeg 44
PP: Dallas 2/5, Winnipeg 1/6
Hits: Dallas 21, Winnipeg 37
Faceoffs: Dallas 24, Winnipeg 40
Blocked Shots: Dallas 19, Winnipeg 9

The Good:

Best period of the season- Even using the simple eye test would reveal just how dominant the Stars were in the first period. This is what the Stars’ offense is expected to look like under Ruff. It had felt like forever since the Stars last played, but it was great to see they didn’t come out flat because of it. The Stars were fast, aggressive and responsible in both ends. They managed 15 shots in the first period, three of which were goals. The first period was a glimpse of what the Stars truly can be when everything is rolling right and their best players are exactly that.

The one that got it started. Chiasson's goal. 

Top line- Seguin had 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists), Benn 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) and Peverley added an assist. They totaled 9 shots and created countless chances throughout the game. They were consistent in their attacks, strong on defense and a joy to watch all game.

Benn goal

Seguin- Clearly the star of the game. First goal of the season was a beauty, a straight up knuckle puck D2 style on a bouncing, rolling puck. His assists were slick and precise. He was flying all over the ice, and I was impressed with his backchecking. What a night for the future superstar.

Seguin goal #1

Seguin goal #2

Special teams- Yes it is bad to take 6 penalties, but for this part let’s look at the fact that the Stars killed 5 of them. And they weren’t killed by luck or the skin of their teeth. They were solid. I counted 16 clears, 9 saves and several blocked shots. They even had a few short-handed opportunities, including one from Garbutt that drew a Winnipeg penalty. Their power play may not have had the best percentage to end the night, but they looked much better. The first unit looked especially improved. They moved the puck well, took lots of shots and registered both power play goals of the night for Dallas. They allowed 8 clears and two short-handed shots on their last two power plays, but before that they only let the puck leave the zone 3 times on 3 power plays. I counted 6 shots on goal, 3 wide shots, and a couple of blocked shots on the night.

Seeing this reminds of last season. Terrible to leave 3 of their players so open. Then again, the good thing is this happens a fraction of the amount of time it did last season.

This is more like it. Plays like this show such improvement over last season on the PK, if not the defense in general. They aren't allowing those high-percentage shots. They aren't allowing those easy passes through the box and the big one-timers. 

Goaltending- Lehtonen was rock solid before he left due to a lower body injury. He bailed out the team on some outrageous errors, and he made it look easy. Lehtonen didn’t play the puck too well, but that was never his strong suit anyways. Ellis came in and did exactly what he was signed to do. He was very good in net, gave the team the chance to win and held up strong. He didn’t give up many rebounds and was very good on the PK after giving up the goal to Wheeler on a rebound, which he should’ve had some defensive help on. Below are huge saves by Kari:


The Bad:

Penalties- It’s simple: they took too many. And furthermore, they took one while on the power play. The good news is that they drew almost as many as they took and twice they turned a PK into a 4-on-4 by drawing a penalty.

Winnipeg Goal #1- Too many penalties eventually leads to this. A shot from the point is stopped by Ellis, but look to Ellis' left. Wheeler is left alone behind all Dallas players. All he had to do was basically tap in the rebound and that's what he did. 

Faceoffs- Horrible. Seguin won 5 of 14, Peverley won 2 of 7 and Horcoff won 4 of 15. Eakin and Fiddler were each at 50% and Cole and Nichushkin both lost the single faceoffs they took.

Gonchar- He is really starting to frustrate me. All three games so far he is making huge errors with the puck at both ends of the zone that create tremendous opportunities for the opposition. But luckily he gets bailed out by Lehtonen and/or a backchecking forward.

Lines seen tonight:
Daley-Jordie Benn

PP- Horcoff-Eakin-Nichushkin-Whitney-Goligoski
PK- Horcoff-Roussel-Daley-Jordie Benn
PK- Fiddler-Peverley-Daley-Jordie Benn
PK- Eakin-Chiasson-Dillon-Robidas          
PK- Horcoff-Garbutt-Gonchar-Goligoski
PK- Fiddler-Garbutt-Jordie Benn-Daley

Notable Notes:

Kari took a puck to the noggin and looked a little out of a it for a second. Many people thought this was the cause of his injury, but it turned out to be a lower body injury instead. 

This is what Ruff wants to see from his players. Anyone touches or messes with Kari, and they get the horns. 

A large scrum that ensued after Tangradi took a little hack at Kari. Another showcase of the team defending their goalie.

Tyler awarded the cowboy hat after the game. 

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