Well that was fun, wasn't it?
Scoring on the first two Stars shots of the game wasn't a bad way to start it, a powerplay goal and the creation of a legend at the same time with 'I am Val Nichushkin' continued the fun, and then a goal late in the game to ice it, just when the tension was becoming unbearable.
Granted, it wasn't all fun and games. Fancy statisticians might have a thing or two to say about the outcome of this game, but then, the reverse was the case against the Sharks on Saturday. Tables turn, that's just the nature of the beast.
And anyway, what fancy stats don't take into account is the story behind the numbers. Like the fact that the Texas Stars defense was largely filling in for Dallas. Consider that Brenden Dillon was playing in his 85th career NHL game, making him the second most experienced defenseman on the Stars blueline! When Jordie Benn is considered a veteran, relatively, it can safely be called an inexperienced defensive corps. And yet the Stars weathered the storm. More than weathered it, as they only gave up 32 shots. 'Only,' yeah, fine, you could argue that's too many. But considering the Stars led for the majority of the game, and score effects yada yada, it's a respectable total with such a young blue line. And yes of course, there was Kari to cover a multitude of sins, as the Stars found themselves hemmed in their own zone for extended stretches at times, with the Kings pressing for an equalizer. But whatever. I'm fine with taking a moral victory out of the defensive performance, on top of an actual victory, because goals count more than shots.
And that's what we get to carry with us into the holidays. A Stars win in LA, seven points from the last four games, and all of them against Western Conference playoff teams. A very merry Christmas to us indeed. And a merry Christmas to the Stars, and С Рождеством валерий, and to all of you, may visions of sugar-plums and Valeri Nichushkin one-timers dance in your heads.
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So if the Stars game last night had you on the edge of your seat, imagine if you supported the Avalanche or the Sharks. Avs down 3-2 with two minutes left to play. Guess what the final result was? [NHL.com]
Puck Daddy with the weekly What We Learned feature. The lead on this one talks about teams coping with injuries, and how it reflects on the true strength of the organization. No mention of the Stars, but you can draw your own conclusions looking at the Dallas blueline and looking at the results of the last few games. [Puck Daddy]
Time for the Conference III Festivus! Fans from around the Central Division weighed in on the rival teams they hate the most (and the least). Meaning there's some pretty priceless vitriol in this one. Oh, and if 'Obscene Alex' is reading this, give me a shout out. You're being sought on Twitter! [Conference III]
And lastly, another year end 'best of' post. We've seen the Best of Twitter already. But think of this as a 'Best of Best of Twitter.' Because it's a compilation of @Strombone1's tweets this year. And it's pretty spectacular, even for the non-tweeters among you. [Pass It to Bulis]