There were plenty of things that the Dallas Stars did right during their last game against the Canucks. However, there were a number of mistakes made as well.
The primary area of the game that needs work is special teams. Brad talked yesterday about how the power play needs to become an effective tool if the Stars are to succeed, but the other end of the spectrum needs tooling as well.
The penalty kill on Thursday night was certainly not at its greatest. It surrendered a goal on the first penalty of the game, which lost the momentum the Stars had built with an early goal just 35 seconds in. Every time the Canucks went on the power play after that, they looked extremely dangerous. Luckily, Alexander Burrows was the best penalty killer for the Stars, taking needless penalties to even things up.
However, the most dreadful part of the penalty kill was how the game ended. Down by a goal with only two minutes left in the game, the Stars went short handed once more. They would have to take some risks in order to score short handed. If they wanted to tie the game, anyways.
What happened instead seems to boggle the mind, as they were content to stay in the box formation, and let Vancouver pass the puck around the edges of the zone for the entire two minutes. It was almost as if the Stars forgot that they were trailing and still needed to score.
I wasn't the only one that felt that way either:
Got a good nights sleep. Still can't believe the last 2 minutes of that game.— Ralph Strangis (@RalphStrangis) February 22, 2013
"I have seen situations where power plays have controlled it on the penalty kill, but not for that long," Gulutzan said. "We were yelling, we had to get out of structure at probably the minute mark and swarm and force and give up a chance to get the puck. They get ingrained in what they do, and you saw the skill level of the other team. They stayed five around and just moved it. And they can move it quite well. We needed to take a chance somewhere. ... We need to take a chance."
Mistakes are going to happen over the course of a season. Especially with a younger, more inexperienced team like the one the Stars are currently fielding. An error like this, though, needs to be one of those "it should only happen once" kind of issues. There's no way to go back and fix the ending to that game. But, what they can do, is learn from it, and make sure that nothing like it happens again.
The Stars will have a chance to redeem themselves as early as tonight against the San Jose Sharks.
Coming up in today's links: Some more thoughts on the Stars, the kids and prospects have some good news to share, and the playing ice in Dallas gets some special attention.
- Mark Stepneski has his game preview for tonight, including a stats matchup between the teams. [Stars Inside Edge]
- In case you missed it yesterday, Razor pontificates on 1310 the ticket. Here's the audio. [Stars Inside Edge]
- The Texas Stars came back from a 3-1 deficit to win 4-3 in the shootout last night, included a last minute goal from Jamie Oleksiak to tie the game. What they have managed to do down there with that roster is nothing short of incredible. [Hundred Degree Hockey]
- Stars prospect Matej Stranksy scored a hat trick in the first period in last night's win for the Saskatoon Blades. That makes 12 goals in the last 12 games for Stransky. [Yahoo Sports]
- Ilya Bryzgalov gives his thoughts on the lack of human preparation against "space danger." [Puck Daddy]
- The Hawks have broken the NHL record for points streak to start the season. I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- I hope the only two games they lose this season are against the Stars. [NHL]
- I'm a big fan of these Grab bags by Sean McIndoe (of Down Goes Brown fame). Especially the Horrific Youtube Clip of the week. [Grantland]
- You never think about what it takes to make the ice playable in Dallas, but there is a ton of work that goes into it. Does anyone else remember the days of giant tubing at the reunion arena in order to keep the ice from melting? [Globe And Mail]
- Have you ever seen any hockey players over the age of 80? These guys are an absolute inspiration. [Globe And Mail]
- Finally, for your video of the day, the Shanaban suspension video of Taylor Hall, after a brutal kneeing incident.