The Bruins were superior in nearly every single statistical category. Faceoffs. Blocked shots. Shots on goal. Penalty Kill. Power Play. Faceoffs. Hits. Giveaways. Faceoffs. Did I mention faceoffs?
Statistics don't even begin to tell the story of that game. Rather, I think the game is a story of a Dallas team who thought they were high and mighty after beating the Pismo Beach Panthers (Nashville Predators) 6-0 on Wednesday, and figured they would handle the Bruins at home on Friday. After all, they're the only team that hasn't lost in regulation, right? Not any more.
They came out flatter than flat. They had no pop. No zing. No heart, and no passion. In short, they played like last years Dallas Stars. And while it's only one game out of six we've seen so far, last year is the reason why everyone has such a short fuse around here. We remember last year all too well, and we're afraid, even after just one bad performance, that the same attitude and habits will return this year. Let's take a breath and see what happens on Monday. Don't worry about tonight. Oh no. Don't worry about that. We'll talk about that a little later today.
Let's talk about this some more, shall we?
Brad Richards sums it up quite nicely, though, we wonder how hard it would have been to figure this out beforehand:
"No disrespect to Nashville," center Brad Richards said, "but that game was not a good indication of what this was going to be. This was a whole different animal."
After the jump, the autopsy continues...
"We were pressuring them while still being under control," Thomas said. "We had 20 guys working together to accomplish the same goal. In the third period, instead of chasing another (goal), our guys were finishing off the game."
Thomas played well, but most of the shots he faced were from long distance.
"He even said he didn't have many tough saves," Julien said. "There were a lot of shots from outside, and the guys cleared the shots away from the net."
Long distance indeed.
"I thought that tonight we were guilty of going to the easy areas a little bit too much," Crawford added. "A team like Boston will do that - they’ll spread you out, push you to the outside. They will give you the corner areas in the offensive zone, but let’s face it, the goals are scored in the high-traffic areas in front of the net."
In the building, I kept a close watch on Marc Crawford tonight. I thought I would see him rip into his guys pretty good. He didn't. He kept his cool (for the most part), which is more than I can say for many on the other side of the glass. Is this a game where you wanted to see him keep his cool?
"They took momentum after the bad penalty I took," Ribeiro said. "We were chasing because we got behind so early. They were on the road, they scored first, and they took momentum. It was just a bad reaction on my part. It's not a penalty I should take."
Maybe so, but the Bruins were better for a lot more reasons than just one power-play goal.
"You take penalties, that shouldn't kill you," Crawford said.
No, the Bruins' attack was one of effort, of intelligence and of teamwork. Players worked together, supported each other and operated as a unit. That left the Stars chasing the play and coming apart at times.
"We were expending all of our energy just trying to get the puck out of our own zone or doing everything we could just to get off the ice," Richards said. "We just turned pucks over and lost the battles."
If you had told me before the game, as good as they've been 5-on-5 this season, that they would take only one minor penalty, I would have told you that the Stars would win this game.
The Stars were once again atrocious on faceoffs. It's starting to become almost humorous at this point. At this point, it almost has to be the players that are the issue and not the coaching. This is a trend that started last season and is getting out of hand at this point.
Those crisp passes and chances created off the forecheck we saw just two nights ago? Gone. In fact the Stars lost nearly every single individual puck battle all night long. Is there a theme starting to develop here?
While I don't really* doubt the faceoff stats from last night's game, I wonder at how they possibly could have been that close. (Stars won 42%). Brandon is right. The more they seemed to lose (including the first 8 of the game I think) the more it became a joke. They looked like a joke last night.
- Opponent blog: Stanley Cup of Chowder
- Behold the baffling stats of last nights' "contest"
- Mark Stepneski's thoughts here at Andrews' Stars Page.
- Listen to Marc Crawford (oddly calm) deliver his post game comments at Andrews.
And finally, I'm reminded of something one of the most despicable humans on the planet said once after a loss...
"Just flush it down the toilet and move on."
-Kobe Bryant (yuck)