Saturday night the San Jose Sharks blew the Stars out of the water on the scoreboard despite the best game the Stars have played in two weeks. Some things we've been wanting to see as a community finally were visible on the ice. The Stars were able to generate sustained pressure, and they generated quality chances. Unfortunately things went horribly wrong.
The fact that things went horribly wrong appears to be ushering in a level of change to the Stars lineup. Tomas Vincour has been recalled. Both he and Philip Larsen appear to be coming into the lineup for tonight's game against the Edmonton Oilers. So, the loss could ultimately be a situation where you lose a battle to win a war. The battle itself doesn't look like a catastrophic loss now, and at the time it didn't either.
The scoring chance report for the Sharks game can be found after the jump. The scoring chance database is also done. After the jump I'll have more information about what to expect from the database, and a link. Follow the jump to see all the juicy details.
If you didn't watch the game, but followed this link to get a full picture of what happened against the Sharks you're going to be disappointed. The Sharks outchanced the Stars 8-7. That's it. The Stars played a pretty good game overall, but eventually things simply got out of hand. The Stars played a poor defensive game at a micro level, and they played the normal "give up a ton of perimeter shots" defense at a macro level. Three defensive lapses and an Andrew Raycroft soft goal sum up the Sharks offense.
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
The penalty issue is getting a lot of play the past few days in light of the poorly officiated game we witnessed Saturday night. However, the Sharks were only on the powerplay for two more minutes than the Stars were. The Stars were still able to generate one more chance with the extra man than the Sharks despite less time on the job. That isn't to say that there are no penalty issues...there are. The issues aren't the reason the Stars lost to the Sharks though. The Stars were short-handed for six minutes. 19 teams in the NHL average 6 minutes short-handed or more per game. The defensive lapses and the inability to finish caused the loss.
The defensive issues from the game aren't reflected in the scoring chances as you no doubt notice. Adam Pardy and Mark Fistric had poor defensive games again, but combined they were -1 chances on the night. They weren't the only ones, but they particularly stood out to me for two of the Sharks goals. They are perfect examples of the defensive issues the Stars need to fix. They're too willing to chase forwards, and the defensive coverage in front of the net has been poor. The Brent Burns goal was a backdoor power play chance with Trevor Daley not covering his post, and I want to say Mark Fistric was chasing in the corner. The McGinn goal was scored off a pass that Adam Pardy allowed cross slot on an odd man chance.
The offense had issues too. They had difficulty finishing all night despite finally generating consistent pressure. Michael Ryder at +1 chances at even strength was the Stars most positive player, but the Mike Ribeiro line generated the most possession after being severely outplayed in most games on the young season. As a group the Ribeiro line was on the ice for 17-18 minutes at even strength. Jamie Benn, Steve Ott, and Ryder only got 13-14 minutes. It makes me wonder what Gulutzan really thinks about Benn, and what Brenden Morrow would have to do to have his ice time changed the way Benn's is changed on a routine basis.
The issues listed above have reached the point where the Stars appear to be willing to try something new. Tomas Vincour has been recalled, and Philip Larsen is still with the club. Both guys have had very good starts to their seasons in the AHL. Both guys are young, and both guys are presumably hungry to prove that they belong in the NHL. The Stars could use some of that passion. They could also use the offensive upside both players bring. The transition game hasn't been the same since Alex Goligoski went down. Larsen coming in for Pardy or Fistric should help in that regard. I don't know how they'll use Vincour, but I would like to see him given a legitimate shot to make an impact.
The Stars and Edmonton Oilers face off tonight at 7. It's an interesting matchup that the Stars can win. It's been well documented that the Oilers shield Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins by giving them easy minutes. On the road that should theoretically be more difficult to do since the Stars have the last change. If they can exploit that matchup issue, and get some energy from the young blood, they should he fine.
To conclude I would like to introduce the 2011-12 Dallas Stars Scoring Chance Database. I've uploaded my Excel spreadsheet to Google Docs, and if you click the highlighted text you will be taken to the doc. I would recommend downloading it if you want to do anything with it other than look at it since Google Docs changed the formatting. The worksheet has chances broken down by period and situation. It has team by team splits. The numbers for each game are present. It has individual player numbers. I will try to get this updated every Monday. If you have any questions about the scoring chances or the database don't hesitate to ask here or @JoshL1220.