Uh oh... (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
So the headline gives you the result and the 3-0 score against Dallas is pretty indicative of how the Stars played in all aspects of tonight's game in Glendale, which is to say that they did not play well at all, and that I feel is putting it mildly.
But obviously the big story tonight though isn't the result of the game but rather the injuries that keep piling up on the Stars. Kari Lehtonen and Trevor Daley left in the first period - Kari listed as lower body and favoring his leg while Daley was listed as upper body and there doesn't seem to be a real definition of how or when exactly he was hurt. Vernon Fiddler left in the second period after taking a Sheldon Souray shot off the shin (you knew that was bound to happen at some point this season right?) and didn't return either.
But it was Kari's injury a little over five minutes into the first - on a long blue line shot that put the Coyotes offside just to be an extra kick in the teeth - that really took the steam out of the Stars game and while a few players - the usual suspects such as Jamie Benn and Souray - tried to generate some energy for the club but the rest of the club seemed to be lost in a haze and the Coyotes were more than happy to just let the Stars sleepwalk through 60 minutes and and do just enough offensively to escape with a win.
As a season rolls along some nights are bound to be rough for players and fans alike, but tonight was beyond that and felt more like a cruel joke being played on all of us.
Back to being grossly outshot - The final shot count was 34-26 for the Coyotes in this game which at first glance doesn't seem completely horrid until you factor in the amount of pucks shot toward the net. The Stars had 48 in total (10 blocked shots and 12 missed) while the Coyotes had a much higher total with 68 (14 blocked and 15 missed)
Another Andrew Raycroft loss huh? - Look, I'm not going to defend Rayzor again because truth be told he should have had goal number two and let out a gross rebound on the third goal. But much like it was said in his last game, Raycroft could let in a hundred goals in a game and it wouldn't matter if his own team doesn't even score just one. You can't even argue at this point that the lack of offense is due to a lack of confidence in Raycroft because the Stars have been grossly out shot in each game Raycroft has started - and for all intense purposes we can call this a Raycroft start - and the defense hasn't been overly effective in front of him.
I have been told there may be a lack of confidence in Raycroft right now but I can't help but think right now the Stars in front of Andrew aren't doing him any favors .
Injuries are killing the Stars right? - Burish, Morrow, Goligoski and now Fiddler and Daley... Yes the Stars are a hurting bunch right now but what is really doing the Stars in is the fact that the players that are healthy aren't stepping up as there was a distinct lack of push back from Dallas the entire game. Loui Eriksson and Michael Ryder failed to get any shots on goal. Steve Ott only had one. All these injuries would be prime time for a guy like Radek Dvorak to step up and take charge and he was largely invisible.
A team can do one of two things with an injury bug like the Stars are suffering through right now, they can either be resigned to their dumb luck and just start hoping that players return soon or they can be proactive and see it as opportunity for other players who are healthy to make an even bigger contribution than expected.
Sadly tonight it appeared the Stars would have rather spent the time feeling sorry about their bad run of fortune.
So are there any positives to tonight's game? - Well the Stars only had two penalties which were both Ott minors in the third period and overall only gave up one power play which they killed off, so if there is something good to take away from this game it is that.
15:05 - PHX EV - M. Boedker (4) Assists: K. Yandle (12) & D. Langkow (6)
6:02 - PHX EV - R. Whitney (7) Assists: R. Vrbata (8) & K. Yandle (13)
10:28 - PHX EV - T. Pyatt (3) Assists: D. Langkow (7) & L. Korpikowski (5)
Defending Big D Three Stars
1 - Damon Lagnkow (PHX)
2 - Mike Smith (PHX)
3 - Training And Medical Staff (DAL)