"We found a way to lose the game and not even compete in it."
We could leave it at that and say no more. Or instead, we could say "Oh well, it's just one game" and move on to the next one. We could say that there were some unlucky bounces, and that asking the team to win both games in Detroit this season is unreasonable. Certainly, we could say all of these things, but we've watched enough games this year to know that last night was about so much more. I like Steve Ott's assessment, however. He makes a very concise point.
The Stars played 14 games in October, recording a 6-3-5 record and a points percentage of .607. In November, they played 13 games, recording a 6-5-2 record with a points percentage of .538. After earning points in their first seven road games, they earned points in only two of the next seven. They ended the month having lost three out of four games and sit in eighth place in the conference, with the teams right behind them having games in hand. They are, in short, "hanging around." But only just.
The Western Conference has floundered in mediocrity and parity these first two months, but it cannot be expected to continue forever. Teams are going to get their proverbial "stuff" together and put forth some quality stretches. The Stars have bought themselves some time with their 31 points, but the time to "sink or swim" is fast approaching.
Luckily, the team plays only three times in the next ten days. Razor mentioned last night that Marc Crawford has only conducted only two practices in the last 14 days. Perhaps some quality practices are just what they need.
"It is frustrating, it's very frustrating" said captain Brenden Morrow. "You prepare yourself and you go out and play hard, but they found a way to make more plays. We both had opportunities, but they took advantage of their's." Just as the Stars had taken advantage of their's Saturday when they scored three power play goals. On Monday, though, Dallas went 0-for-4 with the man advantage, including almost two minutes of power play to start the second period with the score tied, 1-1
"It is frustrating, it's very frustrating" said captain Brenden Morrow. "You prepare yourself and you go out and play hard, but they found a way to make more plays. We both had opportunities, but they took advantage of their's."
Just as the Stars had taken advantage of their's Saturday when they scored three power play goals.
On Monday, though, Dallas went 0-for-4 with the man advantage, including almost two minutes of power play to start the second period with the score tied, 1-1
After the jump, more quotes and reaction to the night at The Joe...
The all-time leader in pretty much every offensive category for the Stars franchise, Modano has played more than 50 NHL games in his hometown arena. He skated here hundreds more times before that when he was a member of Little Caesars' storied youth hockey program.
So at 39, with his contract up at the end of the season, and this being the second of two trips to Detroit, could this have been the last twirl for him at The Joe? He said he thought about that possibility all day Monday.
"I think it's too early to tell you," said Modano, who grew up in nearby Livonia. "There's still a lot of time left in this season."
He's going to start answering that question more and more as the year wears on.
"I thought overall it was a really good game," Todd Bertuzzi said. "When we were being pressured we kept our composure and played well defensively. Offensively, we scored when we need to."
Drew Miller's goal late in the first period broke a stretch of 156:30 the Wings had gone at home without scoring, and it marked the first time in five games the Wings got the first goal. After Brenden Morrow tied the game, Darren Helm and Dan Cleary made it 3-1, and Bertuzzi overturned a Dallas attack as the third period began by scoring his fourth goal of the season.
"It helps us offensively when we get that first goal," Nicklas Lidstrom said. "Even though they tied it up, we were still able to come out with a good effort, and I thought we took the game over in the second period."
"You have to recognize when you have a chance to really grab a hold of the game, and I thought they did a better job of that than us tonight," Stars coach Marc Crawford said.
"Marty has been around long enough that he knows he didn't have his best stuff," Crawford said. "And I feel confident he will respond to that."
"The thing we can do is work hard and stay focused, and that's what we need to do," Morrow said. "We just have to keep grinding away and keep doing things the way we're supposed to do the, the way we're coached to do. If we do that, I think we'll see more consistency."
"You can say I'm struggling, because the pucks are going in the net," Turco said. "But you have to trust what you're doing and continue to do the right things, and things will turn around."
Stars goaltender Marty Turco didn't have a good game Monday in Detroit. It wasn't his fault that Detroit was able to score its first goal by throwing a puck at the net and having it go off defenseman Trevor Daley's chest. But beyond that one, Turco just didn't seem to be on his game at all.
He didn't appear to anticipate a wraparound attempt by Ville Leino in the first period and luckily for Turco, the puck didn't go in. But several of the goals that did get past Turco were certainly ones he'd like to have back. He just seemed slow the whole night. We all know Turco hasn't been comfortable playing Detroit at Joe Louis Arena (1-9-2).
As we discussed on the blog last night, Turco has allowed three or more goals in six of his last seven starts. So he's just in a bit of a funk right now. Don't let that fool into thinking the goaltending job should go to backup Alex Auld.
I tend to agree, and I'm really glad that Leino try didn't go in. What "epic-fail" YouTube fodder that would have been.
Alright. I don't want to talk about that any more. We'll revisit the subject of the Wings in 18 days, when they're even healthier. For now, set your sites on the Ducks, who play the Stars three times in December. The Ducks are on a 4-0-2 run, and are charging hard. They will try to use the Stars to continue to their climb up the standings this month. When people call Thursday's game one that the Stars "should" win, I say, "really?"
- Also, please remember that we'll back with a new podcast tomorrow night: Defending Big D Live at 7:00pm CST