Monday, October 28, 2013

Dallas Stars Game 10: The Good and the Bad

Getty Images

Dallas Stars defeat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3.
Shots: Dallas 29, Buffalo 25
PP: Dallas 1/3, Buffalo 1/3
Hits: Dallas 20, Buffalo 30
Faceoffs: Dallas 39, Buffalo 19

Blocked Shots: Dallas 15, Buffalo 14

The Good:

Cole- He looked really good, like he got his legs back. It had been reported he was battling a nagging injury, which explained his weak play over the past few games. Tonight, he was fast along the boards, quick on his turns and stops, crisp in his passes, and my favorite part, excellent on the backcheck. Add a couple of assists and three shots, and he had a good night.

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Dallas goal #3


Nichushkin- He keeps looking better and better. Easy to tell he is getting more acclimated and comfortable and confident. It will all eventually come together for the young Russian, but for now, steps forward are good signs. His speed and physicality was a step up again. He was good on the backcheck, negating an odd-man rush in the first period most notably and he was decent in moving the puck around. The best part of his game to me tonight was his offensive rushes. He had two solid chances created by his size, speed and reach. We are all waiting for his first, and can only hope it snowballs for him from there.

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Another chance for Nichushkin. Clear that his size, speed and reach created this opportunity. 


Power play- They didn’t take as many shots as I would like, but they looked solid with the man advantage. The double-minor to Ott in the first changed the game in favor of Dallas. They controlled the puck well, only let the puck leave the zone 3 times and got five shots on goal. They also added a missed shot, two blocked shots and a shot off the post. On the second powerplay, they kept the puck in the Buffalo zone for about 1:42 straight. In that time, they put 8 shots on net, had one miss the net and had two blocked.

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Dallas goal #2

My favorite power play set up.


Fourth line- They were more dominant in the first period, but they had a solid night. They were buzzing in the offensive end, tallied a goal and did alright in their own zone. They were noticeable when on the ice. That plus production equals a good night for any 4th line.

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Dallas goal #1



Top line- More greatness from the top line. Their speed, puck movement and ability to get the puck to the net has been great. Cole did well back as right wing in place of Peverley. Really anyone with Seguin and Benn should do well, but Cole has clicked well with the duo this season and his drive to the net fits in well. 

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Dallas goal #4


Faceoffs- I can't even remember the last time I said this, but the Stars absolutely dominated the faceoff dots this game. Especially Jamie Benn. Not sure what was going on tonight, but it was great to see the team do so well on the draw finally. Jamie Benn won all 9 of his faceoffs, Peverley won 8 of 11, Eakin won 12 of 16, Fiddler won 5 of 10, Horcoff won 3 of 7, Cole won 1 of 2, Chiasson won his only draw and Seguin lost both of his faceoffs. 



The Bad:

Turnovers in own zone- yet again, this very familiar problem comes up. Several turnovers were salvaged by Lehtonen, but a couple of them led to Buffalo goals. The first one was a turnover on a pass by Fiddler to an ill-advised rush by Daley. The second, Daley let a puck get loose from him behind the net and soft defense in the slot left Moulson with a chance to deflect the puck, collect it back and score. Dillon, Jamie Benn and Robidas gave up massive turnovers in the first period alone that led to big scoring chances for Buffalo. The second period didn’t necessarily provide more turnovers, but they were definitely more costly.

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Buffalo goal #2

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Buffalo goal #3



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

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




Notable Notes:

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Some huge saves by Kari

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Buffalo goal #1

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Stars hit of the game

I miss this guy

A great chance by Benn in the first period, thwarted by a Miller poke check at the last second.

A great chance for Chiasson on the PP, but he was robbed by Miller's glove along the goal line. 


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Dallas Stars Game 8: The Good and the Bad

Getty Images

Dallas Stars lose to the Anaheim Ducks 6-3.
Shots: Dallas 36, Anaheim 47
PP: Dallas 1/4, Anaheim 2/5
Hits: Dallas 31, Anaheim 28
Faceoffs: Dallas 42, Anaheim 32

Blocked Shots: Dallas 11, Anaheim 13

The Good:

Campbell- Hear me out on this one, there is good and there is bad with Campbell’s play in this game. Forget the score and consider the situation. A 21-year old goalie getting his first NHL start in the second game of a hard-fought back-to-back for a team with struggling defense. He made 41 saves on 47 shots. 47 shots!? I was impressed with Campbell’s play tonight. He was strong from the start. He held strong on his posts, stopped several re-directions from the slot and bailed out some big defensive errors. He got no help on three of the first four Ducks goals. He should have stopped Getzlaf’s goal early in the third, but an argument can be made that Getzlaf never should have been left so open and with so much time to get that chance. Campbell’s bright future has some tangible, visual evidence now. It’s still early in his career, but I can’t help but be excited at the potential future of the netminder.


A big save on a redirection early in the game.

Another big save, this one on a wide open Fowler. 

Big stop on Perry from the slot. 


Garbutt- He was heavily involved, sticking his nose in all three zones and getting production. A goal, 2 shots, 4 hits, a block, a breakaway, a huge hit on Penner… He was one of the most noticeable Stars on the ice tonight.

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Dallas goal #1


New defensive pairs- Just wanted to do a quick shoutout to Ruff for finally changing up the defense and breaking up the Goligoski/Gonchar pairing. They have been the most frustrating Stars to watch this season. I’m not talking about defense only, I mean in general. It makes sense to finally break them up. Also, I like that Ruff kept Dillon and Robidas together. No need to break them up, just change the disastrous pairing and gain some stability in the back end.

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Dallas goal #2



Faceoffs- Seguin won 4 of 12, Eakin won 13 of 20, Peverley won 8 of 9, Horcoff won 7 of 15, Fiddler won 7 of 13, Chiason won 1 of 2, Benn won both of his faceoffs and Cole lost his only draw. 



The Bad:

Penalty kill- Two ways to look at this: they took too many unnecessary penalties, and the PK was not very good tonight. The Ducks seemed to have the puck in the Stars’ zone nearly the entire time they had a man advantage. The Stars didn’t have the puck on their sticks much and when they did, they struggled to clear the zone. As mentioned below, the Stars could not eliminate the Ducks’ net presence. Perry and company were left to stand uncontested in front of Campbell. They only managed to clear the puck 8 times during their 5 kills. They gave up 18 shots on goal in those same 5 kills. 

Power play- Dallas did a little better on their entries and keeping the puck in the offensive zone against the Ducks than they did against the Sharks. They started the night strong with a goal on their only shot of the first power play, but the short-handed goal against was ugly enough to negate that. The good news is that they put 12 shots on net in their four power plays. 

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Dallas goal #3

Finally the Stars got their high-tip set up on the power play going, and they got a goal out of it. 




Net presence- This is for both offense and defense. The Stars didn’t put many bodies in front of the Anaheim goal. They didn’t have to fight off many screens or deflections, and the Stars didn’t crash the net nearly as hard as the Ducks. Anaheim seemed to always have a player in Campbell’s face whether it was the power play or full-strength. The inability to eliminate Perry and the others in front of Campbell led to a couple of goals and several more chances for the Ducks. 

Perry alone in front on a Ducks goal.

Three Stars in a line watching the puck leaving Etem alone in front.

Selanne left all alone on the Ducks' first goal.



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

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

PK-Peverley-Roussel-Goligoski-Daley (Horcoff in the box)

Notable Notes:

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The Benn-Beauchemin fight!!!

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Anaheim goal #1

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Anaheim goal #2

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Anaheim goal #3

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Anaheim goal #4

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Anaheim goal #5

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Anaheim goal #6

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Some great puck movement from the top line that almost resulted in a goal. 

Garbutt is the blurry figure in the top middle of the screenshot. He plowed into Penner after release of the puck, knocking Penner out of the game. 

Scary scene after the hit on Penner. He did not look good at all as he was taken off the ice.

Hate seeing this happen to anyone. Penner couldn't stand on his own and when he was up, his legs couldn't hold him. Hopefully he isn't hurt too badly and he comes back soon. 



Dallas Stars Game 7: The Good and the Bad

Getty Images

Dallas Stars lose to the Los Angeles Kings 5-2.
Shots: Dallas 29, Los Angeles 34
PP: Dallas 0/5, Los Angeles 1/3
Hits: Dallas 29, Los Angeles 50
Faceoffs: Dallas 32, Los Angeless 35

Blocked Shots: Dallas 18, Los Angeles 6

The Good:

Ellis (minus the Clifford goal)- Ellis wasn’t as bad as the score may make his night seem. He was solid in bailing the Stars out of their horrible turnovers. He stopped several breakaways, fought through screens and did well handling the puck. This game could have gotten out of hand if Ellis let in goals on just the plays where the Kings knocked the puck out of the air and took it in for a shot. One of his best saves was on a one-timer from a few feet out during the first period. He didn’t get much help on the first Williams goal. A fortunate bounce off a cross-crease pass is tough for any goalie to stop. His defense didn’t help enough on the second Williams goal. The only goal I really had a problem with was the Clifford goal. A simple shot from barely inside the zone shouldn’t flutter into the goal, whether or not it was a knuckler or slightly deflected.

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Los Angeles goal #4


Top line- Seguin, Benn and Peverley may not have dominated the game, but they did produce and were constant threats the whole game. The line scored both of the Dallas goals and created several other chances in the game, including the power play. They ended up even on the night and combined for 9 shots.

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Dallas goal #1


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Dallas goal #2



The Bad:

Special teams- Terrible. They simply couldn’t capitalize on their chances and were bad at stopping the Kings’ chances. 0-5 on the power play is embarrassing. They mustered a total of 6 shots on goal and one off the post. Six shots on five power plays? They should get 6 shots on one or two power plays. The Kings managed to clear the zone 14 times. Dallas moved the puck well a few times on the first power play, looked patient on the second power play and took lots of shots on the third and fourth power play. They need to find a way to combine all the good things they do off and on here and there. They need to find a way to be consistent. The worst part was watching them try to enter the Kings zone. They had no rhythm, no flow. Missed passes, turnovers, circling back around and losing a dump-and-chase happened way too often for anything positive to happen with the man advantage.

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Los Angeles goal #2


Turnovers- 14 giveaways. Let that sink in. 14. They gave the Kings the puck 14 times. Add to that how many times they lost battles along the boards, miss-handled the puck or  dumped the puck in unsuccessfully and you get the idea. They have to be better with the puck. Fortunately, Ellis bailed them out of a lot of mistakes, but it wasn’t enough. Missed passes in their own zone, intercepted passes in the neutral zone and loss of possession entering the Kings’ zone killed the Stars tonight.

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Probably my favorite save of the night from Ellis. 


Faceoffs- Seguin won 4 of 9, Benn won 4 of 11, Peverley won 4 of 11, Fiddler won 7 of 13, Eakin won 5 of 9, Horcoff won 6 of 11 and Chiasson won 2 of 3.



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

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


Notable Notes:

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Roussel's fight with Carcillo

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Los Angeles goal #1

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Los Angeles goal #3

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Los Angeles goal #5

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dallas Stars Game 5: The Good and the Bad

Getty Images

Dallas Stars lose to the Colorado Avalanche 3-2.
Shots: Dallas 41, Colorado 26
PP: Dallas 1/4, Colorado 0/2
Hits: Dallas 12, Colorado 16
Faceoffs: Dallas 33, Colorado 32
Blocked Shots: Dallas 13, Colorado 18

The Good:

Special teams- The Stars didn’t take many penalties, and they killed both times they were sent to the sin bin. As good as you can do in that situation. They managed 4 clears on each PK and were solid in their positioning. They took away the one-timer from the slot effectively without giving too much room on the point or allowed a cross-ice pass. The power play was much better this game. Both units moved the puck well, kept their spacing and took lots of shots. They mustered 13 shots on goal, 3 wide shots and 10 blocked shots on the power play. That’s a lot of shooting with the man advantage. Finally! They were only able to capitalize once, but any improvement on the power play is a good sign. Also good to see only one short-handed chance given up, and it wasn’t a breakaway.

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Dallas goal #2


Absolutely loved this shot of the PK. This is the kind of formation I would love to see every time. 


Ellis- Can’t really fault him for two of the three goals. A puck bouncing off of two sticks a skate is difficult for any goalie to stop. Gonchar’s giveaway to Duchene mere feet in front of Ellis is nearly impossible to stop. He was strong other than that. He made up for some pretty big defensive errors, especially late in the third. His glove save on Downie while sprawled out was pretty nice, even if it was more of a “look what I found” save.

Ellis' big sprawling save late in the third. 



The Bad:

Critical shots against/defensive lapses- The Stars took 41 shots and only allowed 26 shots on the night, but managed to loose because the Avs capitalized on their fewer chances and had higher-percentage shots. Take a look back at each Colorado goal. Gonchar misplayed a pass in the slot and gave Duchene a great look in front of Ellis for the first goal. The second goal was a fortunate bounce. Still, a missed opportunity along the boards to clear, a slow reaction to a pass through the middle of the zone and lots of open ice for a shot from the point led to the goal. Sure it bounced off of two sticks and a skate, but it never should have been a shot to begin with. Duchene single-handedly dominated the Stars on the third goal. He collected the puck as two Stars slid past him near the offensive blue line. He put his head down and blazed into the Dallas zone to rip a shot over Ellis’ left shoulder and into the net.

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Colorado goal #1


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Colorado goal #3


Unable to seal the deal- Daley breakaway. Eakin breakaway. Seguin alone in tight on the power play, twice. Several one-timers in the slot. Chiasson’s shot near the top of the crease at the buzzer. The Stars had a bunch of chances to catch up or take the lead in the game, but they simply couldn’t capitalize. They played well enough to win. At least well enough to squeeze a point out of the game. Their inability to close the deal cost them and they got nothing out of a rather strong 60 minutes.

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A series of 3 HUGE saves by Varlamov


Daley breakaway chance was kicked out by Varlamov

Seguin's first big chance. 

Seguin's second big chance in tight. 


Faceoffs- They won the faceoff battle on the night, but there’s a need to dig deeper. If Jamie Benn’s night on the dot (won 7 of 9) is taken out as well as Peverley’s two faceoff wins on two opportunities, the Stars would have looked horrible in this category. Seguin won 6 of 17, Eakin won 7 of 18, Horcoff won 4 of 6 and Fiddler won 3 of 6. Macdermid, Cole and Chiasson each won 1 of their 2 faceoffs and Whitney won his only faceoff taken.


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

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


Notable Notes:

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Dallas goal #1


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Colorado goal #2