Lets be brutally honest here, tonight's 3-0 loss to San Jose is very flattering for Dallas. This game should have been in the 8 or 9 goal range and would have been if it was not for San Jose's favorite goalie Marty Turco who clearly showed up to play in what is probably his last appearance at HP Pavilion as a Dallas Star.
Unfortunately, he was about the only Dallas Star to show up tonight as the defense in front of him allowed 40 shots to be taken and the offense did very little to generate any kind of meaningful attack.
The Stars started off well enough tonight and for the first ten minutes of this game ... They didn't dominate by any means, but they at least got to play and handle the puck in the Sharks zone for a while. And while the Sharks did collect themselves and for the first time in a while start playing better hockey and pepper Marty Turco with 15 first period shots, the Stars you could say played a pretty solid road period and had the Sharks right where they want them save for the fact they couldn't take advantage of some big Sharks turnovers early.
And then the second period and the Stars horrible penalty kill happened.
Three minutes into the second period Mark Fistric took a holding penalty and 9 second later Dan Boyle scored on the power play. One minute and twenty seconds after that sequence Niklas Grossman took a tripping penalty and a minute forty seconds after that Rob Blake scored on on the power play.
That folks was the deciding point of the game right there. A little over six minutes into the second period and even a blind man could see that this game's outcome was locked up.
After the jump we have a little more on the game, how I imagine Sharks fans will feel after tonight and your 3 and 38th stars of the game...
The Sharks from that point on in the second period didn't do anything special other than forecheck pretty well and clog up the middle of the ice. The Stars for their part didn't have any wherewithal to try and push through it with any extra effort it seemed and just quietly went through the motions. Even Brad Richards who was I suppose you could say the best Star on the ice tonight wasn't even really that good.
The third Sharks goal added by Logan Couture in the third period was just a cherry on top for San Jose fans who have taken at least one step away from the edge of the Golden Gate Bridge for now and with a second win in a row have once again managed to convince themselves that this year may somehow end up being different than every other season that ended in a Sharks choke job in the playoffs.
Alas, Sharks fans will be able to say that they'll get to enjoy (if they can dare call it that) at least one round of playoffs while us Stars fans get to trudge along with our team as they close out the regular season. Tonight we don't even get the satisfaction of seeing the Stars beat San Jose in their own rink like they have so many times in the past and to think I had so many good stats to throw at you tonight!
Lots of good "Stars kick ass" type stats like the Stars coming into tonight's game had been 9-2-1 in San Jose since December 2006. Stars had an all-time record of 27-15-3 since moving to Dallas. Oh well... You can add one to the loss column after tonight and really the numbers still suggest that Dallas owns the Sharks in San Jose despite tonight's setback.
Sadly the Stars next game on Saturday is in Los Angeles - a place where they've pretty much been the polar opposite of what they are in San Jose. Maybe we can hold out hope that the Stars actually show up for this game and play well since that would be the complete opposite of what they did tonight.
Your Defending Big D 3 and 38th stars:
1st Star: Evgeni Nabokov (SJ) - I'm putting Nabby here not because I think he deserves the first star because he was hardly tested at all tonight, but because hockey rules dictate a goalie with the shutout deserves a first star. I will however give Nabby credit for keeping the game scoreless early when the Sharks decided it was a good idea to just hand the puck over to the Stars a few times.
2nd Star: Marty Turco (DAL) - I'm putting Marty here to half annoy the fine folks at Fear The Fin and because without Marty's work where he stopped 38 of 41 shots this game is a blowout of epic proportions for San Jose. Danny Heatley especially may be seeing Turco's pads in his sleep tonight.
3rd Star: Dan Boyle (SJ) - Great night for Dan as he had a goal and an assist and led his team with seven shots.
38th Star: Karlis Skrastins (DAL) - I have no explanation for it... How does a guy go from being pretty good positional player and a solid defender before the Olympic break to what Skrastins is now which on most nights is a player who looks lost and confused on more than a few plays every night? My only reasoning at this point is he's playing hurt to some degree and it's wreaking havoc on his game.