You thought giving up a goal 12 seconds into the game in Minnesota last week was bad? Try 9 seconds. I missed the first 10 seconds of the game and joined to find the Stars trailing. And my mind flashed back to last Saturday night, when the Stars were shellacked in the first period and emerged from the locker room after the first intermission in order to continue losing.
Not the story last night.
It may have been the worst start in Stars history, no really, it was, but nobody told the players. Following that early goal, Dan Ellis stepped up and played a solid game, the defense played with more confidence, for the most part, and the Dallas offense played a good possession game, outshooting the Sharks for the majority of the contest, until a 14 minute shotless spell in the 3rd period. Although that spell did include a Jamie Benn shot off the crossbar, but who's counting?
One of the big stories from the game? The Stars second line of Cody Eakin, Ray Whitney, and Alex Chiasson, which has so far struggled defensively, was tasked for much of the night with shutting down the Sharks' top line of Tomas Hertl, Joe Thornton, and Brent Burns.
You could say they succeeded.
The Tom, Dick, and Hairy line finished a combined -5 on the night, while Eakin had a goal and an assist, Whitney two assists, and Chiasson an assist. And Chiasson had a goal too. Of course he did. But it won't count on the stats, as it was in the shootout, but still. One for one on career shootout attempts. Anyone surprised? Oh yeah, and your three stars on the night? Cody Eakin, Alex Chiasson, and Ray Whitney.
Lindy Ruff had this to say about the Stars' second line:
You look at Eakin, playing against Thornton most of the night, he gave us a hell of a game. He battled. He battled in the faceoff circle. I think at one point he was 7-1. He gave us the late kill. I can't say enough about him. Even Whit. I think Whit last couple of games skated well and made some plays. They had a couple good looks and probably could've had a couple more and it's important that we can score." [Sports Day DFW]
Still no depth scoring for the Stars, as the other goals on the night came from Tyler Seguin and Trevor Daley, but the Stars can take confidence from their performance the last two games as they head to LA to continue the Battle of California.
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So last night featured two of the top rookies in the league this season, with Tomas Hertl and Alex Chiasson taking the ice. I'm giving Chaser the win. [NHL.com]
Whatever Razor's on, I want some. [Razor with an Edge]
It's been a slow process so far with Valeri Nichushkin, but hopefully some changes will provide the spark. [Sports Day DFW]
Don't you just hate it when a good rivalry begins to fade? [Fear the Fin]
You thought it was bad the Stars got scored on 9 seconds into the game? Try being an Islanders fan. They're up 1-nil, and then after an 8 second span find themselves trailing. The kicker? Taylor Hall scores both goals. [SB Nation]
Best Coast! Down Goes Brown on the disparity between the East and West. [Grantland]