The NHL and teams have people who are always looking up records and trends for games, to see if a team or a player is making at least some kind of history.
I wonder if they are seeing how many teams have lost a game by three goals when tied and on a 4-minute power play with seven minutes to go. The answer to that one is likely "not many."
Last night's game was certainly a crazy one, with odd bounces and hops all over the place. There was a disallowed goal and a few goals that barely crept over the line. Probably the strangest sight of all, though, was that Kari Lehtonen did not play like Kari Lehtonen.
Everyone is going to have an off night now and again -- perhaps this was his. If that's the case, it should be up to the rest of the team to cover for him in the way that he has so many times before. Instead, though, there were turnovers and miscues in every section of the ice throughout the night.
As Mike Heika puts it, it was a little frustrating to watch:
I mean, scream-at-your-TV, punch-the-wall frustrating.
And it's not just from game to game anymore. They'll take the yo-yo up and down on your head from period to period and from shift to shift.
Monday's 7-4 loss to Minnesota was a perfect example.
The Stars didn't deserve to be in the game. They were being manhandled by the Wild, and had a 2-1 lead only because of the heroics of Kari Lehtonen in goal. So when Lehtonen started to break down in the second period and Dallas entered the third down 4-3, you were probably planning an early exit.
The Stars are 1-10-0 when trailing after two periods, so you just figured this would be a routine defeat and you could worry about the final score later.
But, the Stars sucked you in. They withstood a few Minnesota assaults early, and then counter-attacked. Tomas Vincour forced a neutral zone turnover, and Reilly Smith got the puck through the slot to Philip Larsen trailing the play. Larsen snapped in a shot to tie the game, and there was a huge cheer, and a thought that maybe these kids really can make a difference. Vincour has spent much of the season in the minors, and both Smith and Larsen have endured recent scratches, so this was a great moment for the youth movement.
With a 4-minute power play to end the game, everyone was feeling like the Stars would at least make it to overtime to boost themselves in the standings.
Instead, they found a whole new way to lose, as they gave up a short handed goal, and then turned over the puck one last time minutes later to give the Wild a two goal lead. It was painful to watch. Heika sums up pretty well the feelings at the end of the game, and how fans probably feel this morning.
It was the first short-handed goal for Minnesota this season, and it helped break a 16-game winless drought for the Wild in Dallas.
That's a lot to mess up in a very short time.
And yet the Stars did it.
And you as a fan are left to ponder whether you believe or not.
It's tough to say what's going to happen after a loss like this. But it is very possible that this loss will be the impetus for change. It's also possible that the Stars may wait to see if another loss happens during this homestand. After all, the Stars needed at least a 4-1 record during this stretch, and that's still a possible goal.
We'll see what happens as the week unfolds.
Coming up in today's links: More on last night's game, some more reactions on the Morrow trade, and note from across the NHL.
- Mark Stepneski has his post game review, including quotes from coach and players. [Stars Inside Edge]
- The Bruins were also in on the bid for Brenden Morrow, and reports are out suggesting what their offer was. [Dallas News]
- The Stars are in no rush to name a new captain just yet. Maybe they are waiting for someone to step up and lead the team (besides Jagr & Whitney). If so, last night's loss may indicate that they'll be waiting a while. [Dallas News]
- It was not a good night for the Stars around the conference, as the Kings, Wings, Predators, and Sharks all managed wins. Ouch. [Puck Daddy]
- Alexander Semin signed a 5 year, $35 Million contract with the Hurricanes yesterday. Free agents are getting more and more expensive as the season continues. [Puck Daddy]
- Here's a collection of hockey thoughts from Jim Matheson. He gives a special mention to Dallas defenseman Brenden Dillon. [Edmonton Journal]
- Mike Heika gave a pod cast interview talking about the Morrow trade. If you have some time, it's always a good listen. [Puck Daddy]
- LeBrun mentions a couple of possible destinations for Roy, including Anaheim and Ottawa. We'll see what happens. [ESPN]
- For your video of the day, here's some highlights from the Pens/Flyers game, redone in NHL '94 graphics. It's kind of awesome.