If the Stars were hoping to gauge how the would match up with Chicago in a potential playoff matchup, well they learned a tough lesson tonight.
The Stars don't matchup well with Chicago at all. Not even close.
Dallas is now 0-3-0 this season against Chicago and have yet to hold the young team to under five goals. The Blackhawks play a fast, quick-movement game similar to Detroit's and is extremely adept at taking advantage of mistakes. This style of play is like kryptonite for the Dallas Stars and they have yet to figure out how to slow down Chicago.
If it weren't for yet another sensational performance early on by Marty Turco then the game would have been well out of reach by the first intermission. The Stars allowed 27 shots through two periods, including 15 in the first. Turco did everything possible to keep his team in the game but the players in front of him had neither the energy nor the drive to make it competitive.
It was something you could have seen coming. The Stars had played increasingly listless the past three games and Chicago was looking for redemption following a shutout loss to St. Louis. Whatever the reason, the Stars have lost their legs over the past week. The team looks tired and uninterested at times. The only guy on the ice playing at 100% the whole game has been Marty Turco, who has played some of his best hockey over the past few weeks.
Heading into the third period down 3-0, Dave Tippett was obviously looking for a way to spark his team and inserted backup goaltender Brent Krahn. The plan was sound and I don't fault him in any way for the decision, but it immediately became a fruitless attempt. Just :42 seconds into the frame Jonathan Toews scored off a rebound and less than two minutes later Colin Fraser put the game well out of reach with his fifth goal of the season to make it 5-0.
The Stars attempted to regain some dignity with Fabian Brunnstrom and Brian Sutherby both scoring in the third period, yet the Stars were unable to muster much else down the stretch. The Stars now have a day to regroup before they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night, in perhaps one of the most important games of the season for the Stars. Lose again, and the Stars will be right back on the outside looking in.
Thoughts/notes on the game:
- I hope Mike Modano, Mike Ribeiro and Brad Richards all take a long, hard look in the mirror and realize that if these guys don't play their best the team has no chance at winning. You cant rely on Steve Ott and Loui Eriksson to carry the team every night.
- Dave Tippett needs to pull one of his shake-em-up magic tricks that automatically injects some energy into this team. Mark Fistric is not the answer, by the way.
BW's three stars of the game:
No one on the Stars. Martin Havlat was great. That's all I have on this one.