I won't waste too much of your time with this tonight... All you really have to know is that it was really more of the same from the Stars as they've shown us through this whole home-stand that they finished up tonight. It wasn't a full 60 minute effort on the ice but when they did put out an effort - sparked by Jamie Benn's 19th goal of the season early in the second period - it was a fine effort where they maybe deserved a little bit of a better fate overall.
The Dallas Stars with the 3-2 shootout loss to the Phoenix Coyotes have now lost 14 games in that manner this season. If they had only won half of those 14 then we're looking at a team that is still right in the middle of things in terms of a potential playoff spot, but they didn't and that's why tonight's shootout loss with it's one measly point in the standings is so very fitting a result. It's a loss, but not a total loss. It's not two points, but one and thus the Stars are amazingly still mathematically in the running for a playoff spot so this agony of "well they still have a chance" talk will continue for at least another day or two because as we all know if the Stars can remain perfect the rest of the season while the Flames and Red Wings lose every single game from here on out then it is... Well, you know.
More thoughts after the jump including the DBD three stars of the game, as well as the"38th star" of the game...
All kinds of negative stuff right? Well on the positive side we have Benn and James Neal who have kept up their great play and provide hope for the future. Brad Richards had a very good night and was the best player on the ice for either team. Marty Turco gave us one of our last looks at vintage Marty with a 33 save performance - six of those shots coming in a Coyotes dominated overtime period and one of those saves in that OT a ten bell save with the very tip of his stick blade.
Then in the shootout Marty was at his poke checking best in the shootout - which is maybe what I'll miss the most about him. Name me a better goalie at poke checking than Marty Turco be it in the shootout or during regular play... You can't. He was good tonight as he has been for the most part for the last two months and it's almost a shame that he's going to be leaving town because these last two months of rather disappointing results haven't been on him completely.
Same with the shootout losses... Yeah so maybe Marty was only 50% on them, but the offense was only 25% good on their chances and it's that lack of offense in the skills competition that has doomed this team on most nights.
In the end, they at least got a point right? I know it means nothing at this time and situation, but hey at least a point gained means they've mathematically eliminated the chance for the Toronto Maple Leafs to catch them in the overall standings!
And it still keeps them just barely technically alive for a playoff spot... Though I'm not quite sure if that's a positive yet or not.
The Defending Big D 3 & 38th Stars:
1st Star - Brad Richards (DAL): Best player on the ice like I said. Now has a point in five straight games.
2nd Star - Radim Vrbata (PHX): A goal and assist. Also had three of his shots blocked and two more that missed the net, so he was firing at will out there.
3rd Star - Ed Jovanovski (PHX): Yeah he was danced around a few times tonight by Stars forwards, but he did have three blocks, get two shots on goal and picked up an assist. In my books he had a pretty solid night out there.
38th Star - Matthieu Lombardi (PHX): I know his is not really an offensive game, but his game tonight was offensive. 3 face off wins out of 12 attempts and beyond that didn't really help or hurt his team's chances beyond that because he was invisible for most.