While a lot can legitimately be said about some of the travel issues that might have caused Saturday afternoon fatigue, the Dallas Stars really lost their game to the Colorado Avalanche because of some special teams sputters.
The power play couldn't come up with a goal in critical situations, including a final minute of 6-on-4 play. And the penalty kill lasted just 13 seconds in the third period before surrendering the eventual game-winning goal.
Sadly, the team's problems with the power play aren't anything new. The Stars were 0-for-3 on Saturday which makes them 3 for their last 36 changes, an abysmal conversion rate of 8.33 percent.
Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said one of the most frustrating parts is that there's nothing specific to pinpoint and fix.
"I think it’s a combination of everything and we are obviously lacking confidence in there, too. We had some shots and we didn’t have net presence. Then we had net presence and didn’t get our shots through. We’ve had chances. … but we’ve got to convert. "
And while the Stars were definitely listless in the first period, Avalanche goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere doesn't think the one shot they were credited with tells the whole story.
"I think the shot guy should get some glasses. He missed a couple there in the first, but whatever."
After the jump, more on the Stars loss to the Avalanche, good calls are in the eye of the beholder and Sean Avery is, well, Sean Avery.
- The special teams issues didn't escape the notice of Gerry Fraley, who was filling in for Mike Heika on Saturday. [DallasNews.com]
- And the fact that the Stars looked like they were skating in cement for much of the first half of the game didn't escape the notice of Mark Stepneski. [ESPN Dallas]
- I will give this game story credit - it doesn't try to make the Avalanche out to be world beaters in this game. No, they were just one tick of the puck better than the Stars, but that proved to be enough. [Denver Post]
- In the "a good call is in the eye of the beholder" entry, I give you the game recap from Mile High Hockey. [Mile High Hockey]
- While you're busy screaming at referees, sometimes deservedly so, ever wonder how they get their start? There's a nice look at where Dan O'Rourke came from in this extended notes package.[Edmonton Journal]
- In the DMN's notes, we get a Joe Nieuwendyk quote about the acquisition of Angelo Esposito as well as the news that Mike Ribeiro has started to do some rehab work on his injured left knee. [DallasNews.com]
- Meet the enemy: The St. Louis Blues owned most of the game and the overtime period but needed a shootout goal from Kevin Shattenkirk to pick up a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
- Around the Pacific Division: No help for the Stars from their divisional foes. The San Jose Sharks just keep on winning, though this time it was a dramatic 2-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets where Patrick Marleau scored the game-winner with less than three minutes left. And the Los Angeles Kings continued their offensive resurgence with a 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames. Anze Kopitar not only played, he scored a goal. [San Jose Mercury News/Los Angeles Times]
- Guess who's in trouble again? If you said Sean Avery, congratulations! You've been an NHL fan for at least four months! Yes, the New York Rangers minor leaguer was scratched for disciplinary reasons, which reportedly include violating a team dress code by showing up in jeans and sneakers. He did not, however, spit at his coach, as some rumors had him doing. [Puck Daddy]
- Also, in all the talk about refereeing the past few days, at least the Stars aren't the New York Islanders, who surrendered a penalty shot in a fairly absurd circumstance. [Puck Daddy]
- Brenden Morrow talks special teams, travel and how exactly Michael Ryder missed what appeared to be a wide-open net. You also get the full context for his quote about travel, which came up when he was directly asked about it by a reporter, so it's not like he just brought it up.