The optimist in me says I'm not sure I expected the Dallas Stars to have any success with goalie Kari Lehtonen shelved with a groin injury, so the fact that this was one of the first nights young Richard Bachman made me want to beat my television with a hockey stick isn't necessarily a bad thing.
But Monday's 5-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues was certainly not a shining moment for the rookie netminder, who started off this season with a bang but was pulled after giving up three goals in two periods at the Scottrade Center.
Coach Glen Gulutzan wouldn't go as far as to pin the entire loss on Bachman's shoulders, nor should he have, as the rest of the team had all sorts of issues in the first and second periods. But he did acknowledge that it was not a night to remember for the rookie.
"There’s no question a couple of those goals he wishes he had back. Even when he got set in the second period, he made some huge saves and we just didn’t respond. We got hemmed in our own end trying to kill a penalty and we could have got the puck out twice. You don’t want to let anybody off the hook, everybody has jobs to do. Some nights when your goalie maybe isn’t as good you’ve got to get it from somewhere else and we didn’t get it from those other areas."
As an editorial note, today's links will be rather sparse because I have to jump on a plane at 6 a.m. eastern. Pity me. We will get back to your regularly scheduled comprehensive roundup tomorrow.
After the jump, more on the Stars loss to the Blues, a quick update from the World Junior Championships and one of the rarest events in the NHL.
- The Stars always seem to get owned by their former coaches, and Ken Hitchcock proved to be no exception on Monday. The crusty old Civil War aficionado has, however, changed his tune a bit since his days in Dallas. Stints with the Philadelphia Flyers and the Columbus Blue Jackets have made him reconsider exactly what it takes to be an NHL coach. [DallasNews.com]
- Glen Gulutzan isn't ready to commit to anything just yet, but it sounds more and more like Kari Lehtonen might be ready to go Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. [Twitter]
- Because this is a paywalled story, I can't tell you if the headline is an accurate reflection of what Mike Heika wrote. But the headline seems to put the blame for the loss squarely on Bachman's shoulders. [DallasNews.com]
- To be fair to the Blues, they are one of the hottest teams in the NHL at the moment. It was their 14th home win of the season, first in the NHL, and they are 7-1-1 in their last nine. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
- I am not a huge fan of the World Junior Championships, personally. But it is fun to read about how old rivalries go when it comes to current NHL teammates like Steve Ott and Lehtonen. [ESPN Dallas]
- For those of you who do follow such things closely, however, here's an update on how some of the key Stars prospects did on the opening day. [DallasNews.com]
- We would like to thank the Anaheim Ducks fans for giving us lots of laughs over the years as well as one of the top 10 jersey fouls of 2011, at least according to Puck Daddy. [Puck Daddy]
- Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward joins the few, the proud, the ranks of goalies with an NHL goal after Ilya Kovalchuk of the New Jersey Devils helpfully obliges by putting a puck into his own net.