The wonderful NHL schedule that keeps fans of the two different conferences from gaining much of an appreciation for the talent of the other has kept the Stars from gaining much exposure to teams that consistently miss the playoffs. The Islanders are one such team. So, you'll forgive the Stars if they didn't appreciate the ability of Matt Moulson before Saturday night.
The Islanders top line ran the Stars over in what ended up being a very enjoyable 5-4 loss. The Stars and Islanders appeared to be an even match in the Stars 5-4 loss. The game featured all sorts of chaos, but the scoring chances ended up even.
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
The total chances for the game ended up 9-9 despite the hectic 5-4 score which, I think, is a proper indication of how the game was played. Neither team generated much, but the chances they did generate found the net. For a more detailed account of the scoring chances from the Islanders game follow the jump.
It seems ridiculous that the two teams combined for 18 chances in such a high scoring game, but it did in fact happen. Most of the damage from the Islanders side came from the Isles top line as Matt Moulson and John Tavares went to town. Usually when I watch a game a few players will stick out to me for some reason. The reasoning never really remains consistent, some things just stick with me. Saturday two specific items stuck out. The play of Tomas Vincour, and the play of the Sheldon Souray/Stephane Robidas pairing.
The game Vincour played didn't translate to the scoring chance ledger fully. He ended up even at 2 chances for and against. However, he easily played his best game of the 2012 season. He scored his first goal of the season off of a deft deflection from a few feet away. He continued to work hard on the back check, and one specific turnover he forced in the neutral zone sticks out to me that led to a 2 on 1 for the Stars. He and Steve Ott were unable to finish, but the play showed once again the level of talent Vincour has inside of him.
The other aspect of the game that really stuck out to me was how often I was noting that Souray and Robidas were on the ice for chances against. The Islanders generated 6 chances at even strength, and 5 of those were against the Souray and Robidas pairing. They can't be blamed for all of them, but I do remember specifically noting a few instances of poor coverage. They were only a -1 and -2 at even strength though which is a reflection of how back and forth the play was.
Adam Pardy and Nicklas Grossman led the Stars at +3 even strength chances to lead the d corps. Radek Dvorak, Eric Nystrom, Vern Fiddler, and Mike Ribeiro led the way for the forwards at +2
The Stars appear to be getting reinforcements in the very near future so wheels-off games like we saw this weekend will hopefully become relics of the past. If you have any scoring questions leave me a comment or send me a tweet @JoshL1220.