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So Can the Stars Really Go All Out?

Mike Heika, the beat reporter, let's us in on the Stars gameplan in the final 10 games.

"I really thought we could have been up by a goal or two more," center Mike Ribeiro said.

But they weren't. And then they took a penalty, couldn't kill a Sharks power play and gave up two goals in 29 seconds.

"And we were chasing the game from there, just like it seems we have been all year," Stars coach Dave Tippett said.

But while the Sharks overcame the aggressive push and eventually won a 5-2 game, the Stars saw something they liked in their attack. Yes, they barely lost a 2-1 game to Calgary on Wednesday while playing a conservative defensive game, but they also barely registered a shot on goal in two of the three period.

Then Mike Heika, the blogger, explains why he doesn't think that'll work.

I agree with his points, but I'd also like to throw in a few additional reasons with the help of Razor after the jump.

First, Heika points out that the rope-a-dope strategy comes into play defensively when it senses the offensive team is going to throw everything at them, including the kitchen sink. As such, they'll sit back, wait for you to make a mistake, then try to counter attack the other way.

And then there's the second reason:

I know a lot of you welcome this change. To tell you the truth, I'm not
sure the Stars will go as full bore as they say they will.


But I will say right here, I disagree on this one. You unleash the
hounds if you have hounds to unleash. I'm not sure this team in the
state that it is in can play this kind of game.

And with all the injury problems, I'm inclined to agree. And I don't know if it's because of thost injury problems that led to the Stars' physical game sinking quite a bit on this roadtrip as Razor pointed out in his blog on Sunday.

Steve Ott led the charge in that department on this recent road trip, as you might expect. The problem is, of the 34 hits the Stars forwards  registered in the three games, Otter had 15 of them. That meant the other 11 forwards had a grand total of 19 hits.

And finally, you also need the element of puck control if you want to play aggressively. And once again, Razor points out the Stars didn't get the job done in the faceoff circle in Vancouver, Calgary, and San Jose with the following stats:

@ Vancouver
15 of 46
@ Calgary
19 of 56
@ San Jose
27 of 61

Dave Tippett has talked quite a bit about how the Stars have gotten in trouble when they've had to 'chase the game'. Dare I suggest, the chasing starts as soon as you lose a draw.