The Dallas Stars didn't need any more frustration added to their pile of issues, but that's exactly what they got on Saturday
Sure, the play was better, the chances closer and they finally, finally, finally scored a goal again.
But there were still too many problems - a problematic penalty kill and too many near-misses to count - to get that elusive victory, and as the game went on and the Stars fell further and further behind the San Jose Sharks, you could almost physically feel the frusration mounting.
And that, coach Glen Gulutzan said, might be the root of all the problems.
"We have to play less frustrated when adversity hits. That's going to change. I'll tell you guys this honestly, I'll be glad to go back to Saskatchewan if we don't get out of this, but at the end of the day we're going to do it the way we're going to do it. We're going to be men, we're going to have character, we're going to shut our mouths and we're going to play. If that's not good enough then so be it."
Also of note in those quotes are Gulutzan's thoughts about the officiating and how the Stars are really the ones putting themselves in bad positions, whether through losing the puck or whining too much.
After the jump, more on the Stars 4-1 loss to the Sharks, a quick update on the negotiations with Alex Goligoski and Jamie Benn and Paul Bissonnette has really good timing.
- I gave you a preview of what's likely in this paywalled story above the jump, but here's Gulutzan emphasizing again that this team has got to stop worrying about and whining about the officiating. Also, killing penalties would be nice. [DallasNews.com]
- Want all the numbers about exactly how bad this skid has been? Mark Stepneski has them for you in this gamer. [ESPN Dallas]
- And just to drive the point home further, the Sharks talk about how they knew the Stars were frustrated and undisciplined and used it against them in the win. [San Jose Mercury News]
- News we basically already knew but it's still nice to hear confirmed: Contract extension talks with Jamie Benn and Alex Goligoski are ongoing. [DallasNews.com]
- You may have seen it in the ref reports that I try to remember to post on each game thread, but referee Mike Hasenfratz, who has called two Stars games this season, is in his first season back in the league after recovering from major open-heart surgery and some post-op depression. [The Globe and Mail]
- Meet the enemy: The Edmonton Oilers had been struggling but sprung to life offensively Saturday in a 9-2 drubbing of the Chicago Blackhawks. [Edmonton Journal]
- Around the Pacific Division: The Phoenix Coyotes beat the Buffalo Sabres so soundly they forced the local newspaper to break out the Looney Tunes pun but the Los Angeles Kings couldn't solve the Detroit Red Wings in a 4-1 loss. [Buffalo News/Detroit Free Press]
- Paul Bissonnette not only has the best Twitter account in the NHL, he also has impeccable timing. He only had four goals in his NHL career entering Saturday night's game against the Buffalo Sabres but scored his fifth with his mother watching him in person for the first time. [Puck Daddy]
- Steve Ott talks penalties, whining and losing streaks in a pretty candid post-game interview.