Well I gotta say, after 18 goals against in the last 3 games, and 8 goals for, the last thing I was expecting was a 1-0 shutout loss. But then, it was the New Jersey Devils, so maybe I was being a little naive.
But hey, on the bright side, the Stars only allowed one goal! Having had a 6.0 goals against average thus far in 2014 we'll call that huge. The Stars' goals against average in 2014 is now a stellar... nineteen, divide by four, carry the one, take away the first number you thought of... 4.75. Progress!
And how 'bout the West's vaunted superiority over the East? If the Stars are anything to go by, reports of the demise of the East have been greatly exaggerated. Dallas would have been better keeping it local this season, with a superior points percentage against the Western Conference than the Eastern.
So it goes.
What then, if anything, are we learning about the Stars? They clicked for seven straight games before the New Year, and now have misfired in four straight since. But in different ways. Against Montreal it was fun-and-gun offense, with the Stars winding up falling just short in the high-scoring game. Then against the Red Wings Dallas blitzed the opposing zone, but failed to capitalize on the early pressure and wound up on the wrong end of a lopsided loss that wasn't as lopsided as the score would suggest. In New York this week Dallas again hit hard and early, this time making the effort count, but then slowly collapsed, like a flan in a cupboard. And now we have last night, where the Stars' defense felt far less leaky than in the previous games, and yet suddenly Dallas couldn't maintain possession and struggled to clear the zone for long stretches. Even if in the end Dallas out-Corsi'd the Devils, they were out-shot and out-Fenwick'd in turn.
We'll stick with Corsi.
Finally though, if everything else seems too confusing and you don't know where to turn, comfort yourself with the knowledge that at least the Stars aren't coached by a guy who says this when asked about a player: "His wife should give birth every week. He looked great."
Devils' coach Pete DeBoer everyone, commenting on the play of Travis Zajac, whose wife gave birth to a daughter on Wednesday.
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It's a review/preview day. My favorite kind of days, especially after a loss. Wash the taste of bitter disappointment and unfulfilled hope from our mouths... and replace it with renewed hope! First, the disappointment: [Sports Day DFW] [Stars Inside Edge] [NHL.com] [ESPN]
So Antoine Roussel was a healthy scratch last night, benched by Lindy Ruff for a lack of discipline on the ice. Arguably though, that spark was exactly what the Stars were lacking last night. [Sports Day DFW]
Today it's the turn of Sergei Gonchar to be causing rifts within Team Russia. And he's not even on the Olympic team! [RSport]
A good article over at the Capitals' SB Nation site, breaking down the differences between a legal pick and the illegal interference. I would call it 'Hockey for Dummies,' except that the difference is sometimes so slight as to be called referee's bias. And thus, I find it to be a very useful article. [Japer's Rink]
This week's Three Periods column focuses mainly on Canadian Olympic hockey. Don't take that as a bad thing. [Yahoo Sports]
This Puck Daddy article seems quite relevant, seeing as how the Stars are in the midst of not beating up on the Metropolitan Division. [Puck Daddy]
And lastly, Down Goes Brown answers any questions you might happen to have about the second half of the NHL season. And yes, he thinks the Stars have a shot at the playoffs. [Grantland]