I'm going to switch things up on you all tonight. I will recap this game and how it went as we always do here, but I need to share something with you all because in a lot of ways how I feel is how I suspect a lot of you feel so this will be good for all of us Stars fans.
Just give me a moment to lie down on this couch... You have a seat there beside me... All good? Ok.
I just want to say that at this point I am a little worried about my sanity. I guess when your favorite team wins only one of it's last eight games that is bound to happen right? The Stars losing to the Calgary Flames 4-2 I guess doesn't help. With the loss the Stars are now part of a five team log-jam with 68 points.
I started to worry about said sanity at the 4:14 of the first period mark after the Calgary Flames took the 1-0 lead after going all 'Harlem Globetrotters' on the Stars for the first four minutes of the game. I knew I hadn't lost it completely yet but I feared for it with tonight's game having really just started. Thankfully the Stars - granted after a brutal first period where they were out shot 16-3 not to mention out-hit and out-played in every way imaginable - managed to only limit the damage in that first period to just one goal.
So with the damage only at one goal I convinced myself that the Stars were still in this game. Though recent history has told me I shouldn't get my hopes up, I did anyway because... Well it seems to be what I do.
(More of me trying to save on my psychotherapy bill after the jump)
In the second the Stars made a game of it by showing some effort and lo-n-behold even took an actual 2-1 lead in the game after goals from Mike Ribeiro and Jamie Langenbrunner. It didn't matter to me that Ribs' 11th of the season came off a very broken two on one play where Mike actually held on to the puck far too long only to try a weak pass that banked off the skate of a Flame. Or that moments earlier Ribeiro and Brenden Morrow blew a golden two on one play while shorthanded by either passing too much, or Morrow completely missing on the shot or Ribs making a bad last pass. Or that the Flames tied up the game at 2-2 before the period ended off of a power play goal.
For a while there I started to believe that maybe the Stars were turning a corner finally. Even with the ugly penalty kill showing up yet again - and finishing the night killing two of the three chances against - it didn't seem to matter to me because this just felt like a turning point... Or at least I was trying to convince myself that it was which is after all what crazy people do right?
The defense was playing at least a little better and at a level that didn't look completely unworthy of belonging to an NHL club - save for that first period where the whole concept of defending the cycle seemed like a foreign concept. And the offense overall was at least generating some chances and at least putting pucks on net and then sustaining that pressure inside the opposing zone
Then the third period happened and two more quick Flames goals before five minutes had even passed in the period - one of them during a Stars power(less) play which ended up going zero for two with that goal against as a kick in the teeth.
The rest of the third period was spent with the Stars making a tired and worn-down effort to try and get back into the game, but it was too little and too late and the damage had been done both to the final score of the game and to my questionable sanity.
So as I really that delusional that the Stars were going to pull off a much needed win tonight? Of course I was, only for reality to hit me like a Tom Kostopoulos body check that went uncalled by ref Stephane Auger for interference.
I'll do so again on Saturday night when the Stars go visit Vancouver because at some point I'm sure the Stars will validate my belief because it has to happen right? Why not against Vancouver *in* Vancouver? Why not against the team where all these nonsense of the Stars being a sub-par group of players started because it was that first visit to Vancouver where we really started to see the ugly side of the Dallas Stars 2010-11 season.
These Stars still have talent and you can't convince me that they picked up 31 wins so far this season based on dumb luck alone and somewhere - and hopefully soon - the Stars will snap out of this funk and return to the way they were playing in December and the first three quarters of Janurary. Maybe at this rate this is all just the talk of a crazy man.
But then watching the Dallas Stars play hockey lately would turn any sane hockey fan a little crazy just trying to figure out all what has gone wrong, wouldn't it?