Sunday, October 13, 2013

Dallas Stars Game 4: The Good and the Bad

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Dallas Stars lose to the Minnesota Wild 5-1.
Shots: Dallas 19, Minnesota 36
PP: Dallas 1/3, Minnesota 2/4
Hits: Dallas 10, Minnesota 15
Faceoffs: Dallas 30, Minnesota 28
Blocked Shots: Dallas 14, Minnesota 10

The Good:

Faceoffs, a few grinders battling through the game and not much else. The negatives heavily outweighed the positive in this one, so I’ll just post the faceoff numbers here (which were pretty decent). Considering the Stars are struggling in faceoffs so far this season, it was a pretty good night in one department for the team when they win the faceoff battle against the league’s best. Seguin won 3 of 8, Peverley won 4 of 10 but it gets better from there. Horcoff won 7 of 14, Fiddler won 7 of 11, Eakin won 7 of 12 and Benn and Cole won the single faceoffs they took.

Dallas goal #1

The Stars actually started out their first power play really well. They moved the puck through the zone well and spread out the Wild to give Benn a great one-timer in the slot that Harding stopped. 

The Bad:

Mindless defensive blunders- Couldn’t even count them, so I’ll speak to the major ones. Obviously it starts with Minnesota’s first goal of the game. Dillon misplayed a pass in his own zone that was picked off easily by Cooke. Cooke then made a short pass to Fontaine for his first career NHL goal. On the second goal, Goligoski took a peak over his shoulder and overskated the puck behind the net. Cooke was basically handed the loose puck for the quick wraparound goal. Goligoski’s interference penalty in the first five minutes of the second really hurt the Stars by killing the momentum they had to start the middle frame. Dallas came out aggressive and constantly on the attack until Goligoski took an unnecessary penalty on a routine defensive play in the corner. The Stars killed it and soon after took another penalty which the Wild capitalized on. And then there were the breakaways. Twice the Wild had breakaways on Ellis and a long distance behind the Minnesota player were two or three Stars players casually gliding back to the net. Also, they turned the puck over inside the opposing blue line way too many times. It’s tough to build an attack when you bring the puck in with speed or a pass only to lose it five feet into the zone.

Minnesota goal #1

Minnesota goal #2

Special Teams- For whatever reason, the Stars had a tough time clearing the zone on the PK. Many whiffs and several clearing attempts right into a Minnesota player kept Wild power play on the attack. Dallas managed 11 clears and Ellis made 5 saves on the PK, but they gave up two goals on four chances. One was off a pass straight through the middle of the Dallas zone and the other was Parise outbattling and getting position on two defenders at the top of the crease. The power play wasn’t much better. They managed 4 shots, one being a goal, but they also gave away a short-handed breakaway and were kicked out of the zone 9 times.

Minnesota goal #3

Minnesota goal #5

Ellis- He started slow and never really bounced back. He had a few nice saves on one-timers in the slot and breakaways, but the goals he gave up were too soft. The first Minnesota goal should have been a simple blocker save. The second was a wraparound by Cooke. Niederreiter’s goal (the fourth for the Wild of the night) was one where Ellis wasn’t strong on the short-side post. The last goal of the night was off a big rebound from the point, but really Ellis needed some better defensive help there.

Minnesota goal #4

Worst period of the season?- The best period of the young Stars’ season was the first 20 minutes of the Winnipeg game 24 hours ago. One of the worst periods of the season was the first 20 minutes against the Wild. They were outshot 21-7. They were scored on 12 seconds into the game. They were down 2-0 after the period and it was clear they weren’t in control of the game. They seemed to be chasing the puck throughout the first period, and that continued the rest of the game.

Lines seen tonight:
Daley-Jordie Benn

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

Notable Notes:

Big Hit of the night

Slick move and shot by Jamie Benn, but a good save by Harding. 

The Stars had more men back, but they gave Fontaine too much room for the first Minnesota goal. 

Wild breakaway with three gliding Stars in the background.

Horrible position on the Dallas power play. Cooke was left to a wide open, and I mean wide open, breakaway that Ellis stopped. 

A big chance for the Wild on the power play. This was the second biggest lapse in the Dallas PK. The first was... (look below)

Too much ice allowed for a pass through the middle of the zone that Dumba put in the net.

A screencap of Parise beating Jordie Benn and Daley to a rebound off a point shot to give the their fifth goal of the night. 

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