We all did it. There's no sense in denying it. We doubted that a victory could be won last night.
When Kari Lehtonen left the game due to an apparent groin injury, everyone held their breath, or hung their head, or tweeted angrily at the hockey gods for allowing such a thing to happen.
Then the Stars allowed three goals on the next 6 shots, thus proving everyone right. It was the worst combination of goaltending and defense that the Stars have seen in at least two days.
But something miraculous happened after that. The Stars regrouped. They fought back (both figuratively and literally), and got themselves back in it. Despite all of the stats that pointed to a regulation loss, such as the Canucks refusal to give up goals, or Dallas' record against Vancouver over the previous eight games, they found a way to win.
A lot of it has to do with where the goals came from last night. It has been said since the day Jamie Benn returned to the lineup that depth scoring was going to be key if the Stars wanted to succeed this season. And last night, they provided. Brenden Dillion, the man with the game winning goal, recognizes how important tonight's victory was.
"It was a big win for our team. We had a game plan we wanted to stick to. We were down 3-1 in this building. There was that buzz when Henrik (Sedin) got that record, and you couldn't even hear yourself think. It was a big win for us, especially with the roll they were on and playing in this building."
With goals from Reilly Smith, Cody Eakin, Antoine Roussell, and Brenden Dillon, it's safe to say that depth scoring is what got them through last night's game. Hopefully, that is a trend that will continue to stick around for the rest of the season.
Coming up in today's links: Aaron Rome gets a warm welcome back to Vancouver (not including last night's win), the Sens owner is upset about the man that injured his star player, and a save that might just top Kari's behind the back grab.
- Jaromir Jagr turned 41 yesterday, and he doesn't bother thinking about retirement yet. Maybe he can stick around Dallas just a little bit longer? [Dallas News]
- Aaron Rome got a warm reception when he returned to Vancouver yesterday, including winning every major award the Canucks had to offer. [Stars Inside Edge]
- I'm a little late to the party, but Todd Maternowski created some wonderful Valentine's Day cards for the Dallas Stars. [Thursday Morning Cupcheck]
- Chicago absolutely refuses to lose in regulation this season. After beating the San Jose Sharks last night, they are 11-0-3 now, and pretty much guaranteed a playoff spot. [NHL]
- Manny Malholtra and the Canucks were partly responsible for creating the strategy of zone matching. Yet another reason that Manny possibly being forced into early retirement due to his eye injury is a loss for the NHL. [Puck Daddy]
- I was wondering if the fact that Matt Cooke was the one that injured Erik Karlsson would create a fuss or not, and apparently it has. The owner of the Senators feels that Cooke should not be allowed to do things like that -- even though it was an accident. [TSN]
- It's still officially unresolved, but the hope is that the NHL and IIHF will come to an agreement soon in order to guarantee that NHL players will be at the Olympics next year. [ESPN]
- Now that we are over a quarter of a way into the season, the quality of play has drastically improved compared to opening night. Hopefully that trend will continue as the season wears on. [Globe And Mail]
- If you're excited about the idea of being in a division with the lowly Blue Jackets, think again. With their new GM, they might be a formidable foe in a few more years. Especially with three 1st Round draft picks this season. [Puck Daddy]
- Today's video may be the save of the year. At the very least, it will give Kari's save from earlier this season a run for its money. Incredible.