To steal a phrase from one of my favorite T.S. Eliot poems, sometimes a winning streak goes out not with a bang but a whimper.
That's exactly what happened to the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night, as an 11-0-1 run came to a screeching halt with a 5-2 loss at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets.
Sure, the Stars could lean on a lot of excuses - it was the second night of a back-to-back against a rested team, the Jets are more than solid at home, there's apparently a case of "the sniffles" running through the team, they lost a fairly important defensemen in Philip Larsen during the first period, they never got a power play and Richard Bachman did not have his most memorable night.
But the Jets didn't care about any of that, nor did they care that the Stars were the hottest team in the NHL and had not lost a game in regulation in 24 calendar days. That could be a nice taste of reality for a team whose playoff position is far from assured.
"Usually these things end with a thud, and they wake you up and they grab your attention," said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. "And I hope that's what happened here."
We'll find out if that's what happened Friday against the Chicago Blackhawks.
After the jump, more on the Stars loss to the Jets, big nights for Ryan Garbutt and Daryl Reaugh and Erik Cole needed a friend to celebrate with.
- The Stars had been doing a lot of little things well during their winning streak, including not turning pucks over in critical areas. That was one of the key areas they failed on Wednesday. [ESPN Dallas]
- With the loss of Philip Larsen, who is officially listed as day-to-day with a lower body injury, and Sheldon Souray still out with a lower-body injury of his own, Jordie Benn may play a very important role in the coming days. [DallasNews.com]
- The Jets are in a desperate playoff push of their own, and Wednesday's victory is a big boost to that effort after four idle days saw them slip down the standings. [Winnipeg Free Press]
- And to be fair to Dallas, Winnipeg is where streaks go to die this year. [Winnipeg Sun]
- I had to turn off the game early to record the podcast (coming soon to a DBD near you!), and I apparently missed all sorts of fun with Adam Burish, Tanner Glass, a hockey glove and a gift for the Winnipeg crowd. [Puck Daddy]
- Bob Sturm might be a curse on road trips, at least in his own mind, but he gives a pretty good analysis of why the Stars fate down the stretch rests on the big pads of Kari Lehtonen. [Fox Sports Southwest]
- Ryan Garbutt hails from Winnipeg, so naturally the papers were quite happy to share his story of starting in the Ivy League, then going down to the Central Hockey League before making it to the big show this year. [Winnipeg Sun]
- Also returning to a town he once played hockey in was Stars color man extraordinaire Daryl Reaugh, who had a really promising season with the Hartford Whalers, not to mention his NHL career, cut short because of a torn hamstring he suffered up in Manitoba. [DallasNews.com]
- Your official injury update after the game: Philip Larsen's injury probably isn't "too bad," and he is day-to-day. Brenden Morrow is fine. Sheldon Souray and Radek Dvorak are both out for Friday. [ESPN Dallas]
- Because of uncertainty surrounding the CBA negotiations this summer, the annual exhibition and season-opening games in Europe have been cancelled. [The Globe and Mail]
- In a correlation that should surprise exactly no one who knows what these terms really mean, teams that are credited with more hits generally score fewer goals. Why? Because to get a hit on the stat sheet, at least in non-hit-happy buildings, you have to separate a player from the puck. Therefore, if your team has more hits, the other team likely has more possession. [Toronto Star]
- Meet the enemy: The Chicago Blackhawks managed to pick up two points against the St. Louis Blues the other night despite having to pull goalie Ray Emery, and the situation in net still isn't clear for the team. [Chicago Tribune]
- Around the Pacific Division: Add the Vancouver Canucks to the list of teams not helping the Stars right now as they fell 5-4 to the Phoenix Coyotes. That puts Phoenix two points back of Dallas with the same number of games played. And the Detroit Red Wings aren't liking California much right now after they fell 4-0 to the Anaheim Ducks. [Canada.com/Detroit Free Press]
- Other scoreboard watching: Also not helping right now - the Buffalo Sabres, who keep letting key Western Conference teams tie games in the final seconds. This time it was the Colorado Avalanche who game back for a 5-4 shootout win. [Buffalo News]
- It's been a tough few weeks for NHL coaches, and Down Goes Brown gives us a look at some of their problems. [Down Goes Brown]
- I don't know how Erik Cole of the Montreal Canadiens usually celebrates his goals, but I assume his high-fiving of referee Greg Kimmerly after his goal against the Ottawa Senators is not among his usual bag of tricks.