After seeing Twitter updates while the game was going on I was dreading charting this game. It sounded like another Stalingrad...I mean Pittsburgh. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this was just another Stars game. Sure, they got beat. And anytime you give up 5 goals something went wrong
But tonight it wasn't completely the defense. It was a combination of Andrew Raycroft's inability to see shots from distance, a severe lack of puck possession, no real transition game, and the inability of the offense to capitalize on their chances that led to the Stars losing.
The scoring chances were pretty even in the game. The Stars zone generally held firm, and they did a good job of generating chances when they had the pick which happened to not be nearly enough. After the jump see how the chances broke down, and a relatively short amount of analysis at midnight Sunday morning.
The Stars barely possessed the puck last night, but they played their zone to perfection which once again led to a ton of shots against. The chances the Stars gave up usually didn't lead to goals. They actually out chanced the Red Wings 13-10 despite losing 5-2. The reason for that is shots from the point and blocked shots.
I probably need to pay closer attention to make this statement more definitively, but Raycroft really seems to struggle with shots from the point. The Stars could have boxed out better in front of him last night, but Raycroft allowed several goals from distance when he started against Chicago in the second game of the season too. I don't know if its his height (6'1 so not tiny, but not Lehtonen-big), a lack of lateral movement, or the defense playing worse in front of him are at fault, but a trend seems to be be there against teams willing to shoot from the point with regularity. And, boy are the Wings willing to do that. The Wings blueline got 12 shots on net. The Wings blueline attempted 12 other shots that either missed the net or were blocked by the Stars.
The Stars, as a team, blocked 16 shots. The Stars did what they do. Ho-hum.
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
The Stars biggest positive players were the D pairing of Adam Pardy and Mark Fistric, but I would caution against reading too much into that. Considering that Pardy and Fistric have flip-flopped being Alex Goligoski's D partner all season I think it's fair to assume that they got a heavy dose of offensive zone starts. But, good for them. Whenever you're a +4 or +5 in even strength scoring chances you're doing more good than harm.
Jamie Benn and friends were a +3 scoring chances at even strength, but the best line for the Stars last night was the checkers. Vern Fiddler, Radek Dvorak, and Eric Nystrom are developing some serious chemistry offensively. They take the puck to the rack, and lately they've been finishing, particularly Nystrom. I'm not sure what to make of that guy yet, but he can definitely play.
You can call me a lot of things, but you can't call me a liar. This is brief tonight. We all need to take a deep breath and get ready for the Panthers on Tuesday night. Steve Ott will be a welcome sight, and I'm hoping to see Philip Larsen. He has been really good in Austin so far this year, and he should really be able to help what was a poor transition game tonight.
Plus, Tuesday is Brenden Morrow Bobble-head Night. Oh, and the team is finally going to be sold. So, there's that. As usual, if you have any scoring questions leave me a comment or send a tweet my way @JoshL1220 .