I'm torn. Game recap or game preview? It's always the case on the second day of a back-to-back. Here we are, still savoring/digesting/musing/pondering last night's game, and already we have another game crowding in with all its potential and excitement and future glory. What to focus on?
I just flipped a coin. We're going with last night. Know what I hadn't realized? Seven of the Sabres' eleven losses have been by a single goal. Which means they're treading a fine line between being the worst team in the league, and being a team slightly better than the worst team in the league. Last night they lost by a single goal. It could have been more, but after scoring their fourth goal, the Stars flatlined in the offense department, allowing the Sabres to get back into the game.
The good news though is that the scoring was by a mix of the usual suspects, Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, and a couple of vets new to this season's scoresheet party, Vern Fiddler and Alex Goligoski. Yes, Goose had his first point of the season last night. So maybe the healthy scratch worked, albeit a game late. Or maybe it was breaking up the pairing of Goligoski and Sergei Gonchar. Or maybe it's too early to tell.
Bonus points anyway to Jordie Benn for his third star selection. I'm liking him more and more as the season goes on. Like Shakira said: Stats Don't Lie. Strong positive possession numbers there for him, despite having (alongside Goligoski) the lowest number of offensive zone starts.
Oh, and lastly, Valeri Nichushkin... Will somebody please buy that kid a goal? Poor guy's so overdue it's painful. The breakout's gotta be on the way though. I'm predicting he pulls a Hertl on the league and scores a Joe Thornton hat trick here soon.
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From the enemy. [Die by the Blade]
And a preview of tomorrow's game. Take special note of the injury updates for both teams. Dallas has Ryan Garbutt out, still serving his suspension. Montreal have eight, count them, eight players out due to injury. [Sports Day DFW]
The Canadiens last night started their backup goalie, Peter Budaj, who proceeded to shutout the Rangers in New York. Ouch. Luckily, the Stars will be facing the starting goaltender tonight... [Eyes on the Prize]
Strangely lucid thoughts from Razor. I wasn't sure what to make of them... [Razor with an Edge]
Get this, for the first time ever, an Australian scored a goal in an AHL game. An Aussie! Being somewhat good at ice hockey! What is the world coming to? [The Hockey Writers]
Richard Bachman got the start for Edmonton on Sunday night and made 47 stops in an overtime loss. He should thank the Stars for giving him so much experience facing that many shots in a game. [The Hockey Writers]
Down Goes Brown with their rundown of the weekend's action, and the question, why does the Central Division have to be so poxing good? [Grantland]
And finally, What We Learned this past week. Or didn't learn, if you insist on being negative about it. [Puck Daddy]