Shot ‘attempt' total: Dallas-61, Florida 56.
Small consolation when 24 of the Stars attempts were blocked, including one block of a Brenden Dillon shot from the point that killed a guy, RIP Erik Gudbranson, and the shot totals ended 39-27 in favor of the Panthers. Ultimately not good enough from a team who struggled with giving up high shot totals last year, and still has question marks hanging over the defense.
But it's only one game! A tired, if true, refrain. But nevertheless, we can hammer home the point. The Stars are learning a new system, new responsibilities, and there just isn't that level of trust or awareness of the other players yet. Something that we can hope will only improve over time. It wasn't all doom and gloom though. A lot of unrewarded chances were generated on the Florida net, Kari Lehtonen was vintage early-season Kari, and Jordie Benn looked like he belonged on the 3rd defensive pairing.
Here was Lindy Ruff's take, after his first game behind the bench for the Stars.
"We didn't win enough battles. When it was 2-2 and they walked in through the neutral zone to score, that wasn't a good play for our team." [CBS Sports]
Too true. It was Dillon who missed his defensive responsibility on that one, erasing the shorthanded goal he'd scored earlier in the period. But hey! Brenden Dillon scored a shorthanded goal! What he was doing crashing the net behind the two forwards on a penalty kill I don't know, but all's well that ends well. Or doesn't, as the case may be.
And Alex Chiasson scoring the first goal of the Stars season? Of course he did. He'll probably score the third as well. And the fifth, and the...
Anyway Stars fans. Scale back your expectations. The Stars will now have to settle for a season record of 81-1-0.
* * *
Look how positive everyone was on the defense before the game! [Fox Sports SW]
Which I guess means Benn has taken the place of Brad Marchand. [CBS Boston]
So his return to the NHL worked out pretty well for Tim Thomas. Will it be the same for Ilya Bryzgalov? Having been bought out by the Flyers over the summer, Bryz has instead agreed to a tryout contract with the Las Vegas Wranglers, of the ECHL. Which I can only imagine will make him the highest paid player, and probably by a very long way, in the ECHL. [Puck Daddy]
A recap of all last night's NHL action, in case you only had eyes for the Stars. So romantic. [USA Today]