When a team on the second night of a back to back is allowed to come in and take 40 shots at the goalie, many of which are good scoring chances, the odds are that the home team is going to lose.
For over two periods,
the Dallas Stars Kari Lehtonen defied all logic, keeping the score close enough to possibly steal an undeserved win. Unfortunately, the final score resembled the game itself -- with the Kings in the lead.
The team knows that the level of effort needs to be fixed. Despite the number of young players on the team, the level of talent far exceeds the level of play that had been seen through the season so far.
Certainly, there have been bright spots throughout the year. There have been times when the team is firing on all cylinders, and when they appear unstoppable. "Inconsistency" seems to be the word of the season, though, with those highlights coming between games of an entirely different sort.
Last night was one of those "other" games. In Mark Stepneski's game review, the players admit as much, since they did not get off to the stars that they expected.
"What's most disappointing is the way we came out. It looked like we were the team that played back-to-back and had to travel. There's no excuse for that," said Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas. "They come out strong. It's our building. It's a game that is there for us. They were supposed to be the tired team and it was the other way around. It's disappointing."
They Kings had three shots and one goal in the first 25 seconds of the game, outshot the Stars 31-8 over the first two periods and had a 40-15 shots advantage for the game.
"They kind of took it to us there the whole game," said Stars center Jamie Benn. "They fed off our turnovers, we couldn't get the puck deep. Eight shots after two periods is not going to win you hockey games."
The loss dropped the Stars to 16-15-3 on the season and left them two points out of a playoff spot with 14 games remaining.
"We need to amp up our level. We are fighting for our lives," said Gulutzan. "If we think with performances like that, we are going to stroll in, we are mistaken."
They have a chance to make up for it tonight, though, as the Ducks come into town. The only question that remains now is, even if they can build a consistent effort, is there enough time left in the season to sneak into the playoffs? Their odds are looking grim with each loss they take.
Stay tuned to Defending Big D, as we'll have more on the current situation of the Stars, and speculate on what last night's loss means to the team as a whole.
Coming up in today's links: More on last night's game, and news from around the NHL.
- Here's some more quotes from last light, including Gulutzan on the line up for tonight. [Stars Inside Edge]
- Mike Heika has his preview of tonight's game against the Ducks. [Dallas News]
- Toby Petersen was called up with Fiddler's injury. It's a chance for him to prove himself as a veteran presence. [Dallas News]
- Kari Lehtonen plans on starting again tomorrow. The question is whether or not he will have to stop another 40 shots in order to give the Stars a chance to win. [Dallas News]
- Here's a quick look at what it will take for each team to make the playoffs. It's a bit outdated, but it still reflects what the Stars need to accomplish. [Sports Illustrated]
- The Blue Jackets defeated the Ducks last night. The Stars will be facing a team looking to redeem themselves. [ESPN]
- Here are the three stars from around the NHL last night. [Puck Daddy]
- This is an unfortunate bit of news, but it needs to be shared. After a hit to the head, a Russian forward died from his injuries. With the speed and strength of today's game, this needs to be taken far more seriously than just a "wheel of justice." [Puck Daddy]
- Sidney Crosby is out for 4+ weeks with a broken jaw. Ouch. Meanwhile, the Pens won their 15th straight game. [Puck Daddy]
- For your video of the day, here's a beautiful backhand goal. It's too bad it was into his own goal. Of course, I always enjoy watching the Red Wings suffer, so I guess I don't mind too much.