The Dallas Stars were not happy about their performance in last night's game, and it is easy to see why.
Chicago is a fast paced offensive team, and if you give them any kind of a lead, it can be extremely difficult to get back in the game. That is exactly what happened, as the Stars' offense had a hard time connecting, while the defensive play and goaltending had a hard time stopping any shots.
Once again, the slow starts did them in, as Chicago was able to gather all the momentum, and hang onto it for the entire game. Mark Stepneski talks about the players' and coaches' disappointments about last night's affair.
"We certainly got humbled," added Stars captain Brenden Morrow.
The loss pushed the Stars' winless streak to four games (0-3-1) and left them at .500 (12-12-3) with 21 games left in their season. The Stars have been outscored 16-3 during the four-game slide.
"If this wasn't an alarm clock, I don't know what is," said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan.
The Stars held their own through the first part of the first period, but Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews scored two goals in a 1:35 span to give Chicago a 2-0 lead. A Nick Leddy rebound goal off the rush late in the period made it 3-0 and the rout was on.
"We've been concerned with our starts here for a while, but we usually battle back. Tonight it started bad and got worse," said Morrow.
A Johnny Oduya goal eight minutes into the second period and Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen was done for the night. He allowed four goals on 17 shots. He was replaced by Richard Bachman, who allowed four goals on 17 shots the rest of the way. Neither Dallas goaltender stood much chance on this night.
"We dumped on our first goalie and we dumped on our second goalie. We left them to hang out to dry and it's unacceptable," said Benn. "We need to do something within this room to change that. It's an unacceptable effort tonight."
There have been a number of lingering issues with the Stars all season, and it would seem as though they all came into play last night. Slow starts, a defense unable to match the speed of a high-powered offense... these are things that we have seen more than once. (You could also say goaltending if you like, but most of those goals were not the blame of the goalies' nearly as much as it was the team's.)
Hopefully last night really does serve as a wake up call, and some of those issues can get fixed. It's certainly frustrating to see how well they played against the Ducks on Thursday night, and then seemed to be so overmatched the very next game. It make it difficult to really get a measure of what kind of team this is.
As always, though, there is no time to dwell on this loss for too long -- this season is too short to do that. All they can do is gather themselves, and re-rack for tomorrow night's game against the Calgary Flames.
Coming up in today's links: Some great thoughts from Mike Heika,
- Mike Heika has his observations about the ramifications of last night's game. He mentions this is one of those games that typically gets someone fired, whether it's coaching or players. It will be interesting to see if anything comes of it over the next couple days, that's for sure. [Dallas News]
- Jamie Benn was visibly upset during his interview. I don't know if I've seen that much emotion from him before, but it's nice to see he wasn't too happy with the performance. [Stars Inside Edge]
- Here's the 3 stars from last night's set of games, including some great highlights. [Puck Daddy]
- Alexander Burrows scored the fastest NHL goal in the last 20 years. Against the Red Wings now less. That's impressive. [Puck Daddy]
- Speaking of the Red Wings, they really aren't quite the power house that they used to be. [Globe And Mail]
- With less than half the season remaining, it is time to start looking at playoff predictions. Here's what the guys at SI believe will happen. [Sports Illustrated]
- For your video of the day, I was originally going to go straight to Benn's interview. Instead, however, I decided that if you're reading this morning, you could probably use a laugh. Here is an epic floor hockey video made by a high school. It was to gather interest in a tournament and to raise funds for charity. If floor hockey is anything like this, then you can sign me up.