Vancouver Canucks Hammer Stars 7-1

Chances are you didn't stay up to watch this game because of the late start and if that is the case, then you would be one of the lucky ones.

This wasn't pretty.  Heck, calling it ugly wouldn't be doing it proper justice as I think it's safe to say the game in Calgary was 'ugly.' Tonight's game - a 7-1 Vancouver Canucks win over the Dallas Stars - I think falls under the following catagories:

Brutal - As in brutal penalty killing. The Stars in the first period allowed two out of four.  In total giving up 3 of 6 for the game and just like that in the span of two bad games any good momentum they had built up with their penalty kill is right back to square one.

Unwatchable - As in seeing the Stars take a beating like they did against the faster and hard checking Canucks was really hard to watch.  As it is, both Jamie Benn and Tom Wandell had to leave the game due to injuries.  Other players such as Loui Eriksson and Adam Burish were also dinged up a little during the game.

Doubtless - As in I started writing this recap near the end of the second period because at that point it was 5-1 and the lone bright spot for the Stars was a Brad Richards goal in the first period off a goofy Daniel Sedin turnover that at the time tied things at 1-1.  Two minutes after that Richards goal the Canucks scored again (on the power play of course) and they were off and running for the rest of the night and thus putting this game into "no doubt" territory.

It's games like these that test one's mettle as a hockey fan.  About the only positive we can take away from this game is that they didn't give up double digits against and at least half the bench survived without any major nicks or bumps.

More thoughts and three stars (or shall we say three Canucks) after the jump...

  • No need to re-hash the Stars penalty kill.  The Stars power play wasn't much better going 0 for 5 including failing to cash in on a little bit of 5 on 3 time early in the game.  To their credit, they did have some nice looking chances with the man advantages, but that's all they were: nice looking and nothing more.  Shots wise they only manage to total two altogether so it would be nice to see a little less flash and dash and more pounding pucks in on the goalie and forcing saves.
  • The Stars D has gone back into 2009-2010 mode in terms of letting opposing forwards crash away into Kari time and time again and allowed the Canucks to set up shop in front of the Stars net repeated time for screens and tip-ins.  The forwards were just as guilty as they continued their puck chasing ways and didn't put proper pressure on the Canucks points where most of their offense was being set up.  In three of their goals came from shots from the point.
  • Kari Lehtonen wasn't horrible, but I am sure he would love to have that first goal against back where it floated on him and he short-armed it on the far glove side.  I don't think the Stars psyche is that fragile that they crumbled on one goal against, but it sure did cast a bit of a downer on proceedings against a team that has been very tough on all visitors at home.
  • Other Stars getting points: Uhhh... James Neal assisted on Richards lone goal.  This of course means no more Mike Ribiero or Benn point streaks.
Thankfully Stars fans don't have long to dwell on this loss as they did against Calgary as Dallas is back at home on Wednesday.  I know Brad and Brandon Worley have more thoughts and will share them over the next 24 hours so I'll leave them to it...

My thoughts though are pretty simple.  I wasn't ready to crown this team a Stanley Cup contender when they climbed to the top of the pacific division and briefly held top spot in the west, and likewise I'm not ready to call them DoA after two very bad losses on the road.

These two games hopefully serve as a rather harsh wake up call for Dallas.  They got very average goaltending - if not sub par - and the players in front didn't do much to pick up the goalies.  The fact they have been spending all season in games where they don't play a full sixty minute effort is maybe starting to catch up to them.  Teams like the Canucks are uber-talented and the Stars can't hope to match them depth wise, so they have to outwork them.

They didn't, and they got clobbered.  That's tough enough for all sides to take as it is, but if the Stars can't learn from these kinds of losses and keep playing like this moving forward, that makes things even more painful and would truly be a reason to start panicing.

Until then, lets just go with hope that this is something the Stars can build off of and turn into some future wins.

Defending Big D Three Stars:
1 - Henrik Sedin (VAN)
2 - Ryan Kesler (VAN)
3 - Stars fans who stayed up to watch the whole game (DAL)
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