It's always tough to truly determine how a team performed or what actually happened without being able to see the game, but thanks to a truly entertaining radio broadcast we can gather some decent ideas. Overall it was a much better performance by the Stars than we witnessed on Tuesday but there's still some very disturbing issues with this team that need to get worked out immediately.
With the Avalanche playing five rookie defensemen and an extremely young and inexperienced lineup, the Stars experienced all they could handle on Friday night. Sparked by seven power plays the Avs dominated play throughout the second and third period yet were able to score just one goal. The Stars were grossly outshot once more (35-21) but were able to hang on to their lead thanks to a phenomenal performance by Kari Lehtonen.
Here are the bullet points to take away from the game:
- Brad Richards is poised to continue where he left off last season. On a night where the offense overall struggled, Richards was a bright spot from start to finish. His great drop pass to James Neal opened up the scoring and once again his incredibly accurate passing found Ott all alone for a tap-in goal. He also had several other passes throughout that night that left the announcers gushing.
- Doesn't appear that Jonathan Cheechoo is going to be making this team. When everyday fans are noticing just how slow he looks, then things are really bad. It's unfortunate.
- Severin Blindenbacher is seriously pushing for an NHL spot and the Stars are giving him the chance to prove himself. Both he and Jeff Woywitka were active on offense, although it's impossible to tell how he did on the defensive end tonight.
- The Stars defense is allowing a ton of shots. That's going to happen in this scheme yet the Stars can't allow teams to completely control the flow of the game like that. Crawford is preaching puck possession and tonight that didn't happen.
- Aaron Gagnon had a good game defensively (I think) and his name was mentioned a lot on offense but he didn't distinguish himself offensively like he needed to in order to continue pushing for a roster spot.
- Nicklas Grossman and Brian Sutherby tied for the team lead with three shots apiece. Yep.
- The Stars have certainly embraced this whole "tougher to play against" mentality and it's obvious they are focused on sticking up for each other. It's great to see, but not when it sacrifices smart and solid play. It's a fine line to walk.
- Kari Lehtonen is here to stay. Great game and a perfect way to start off his first season as the full-time starter.